Seven dead in new California shooting

HALF MOON BAY, United States (AFP) — A suspected gunman was in custody Monday over the killing of seven people in a rural community in northern California, just two days after a mass shooting at a Lunar New Year celebration near Los Angeles.

The latest bloodshed occurred at two farms around Half Moon Bay, a coastal community south of San Francisco.

San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said seven people were killed and one wounded in the twin shootings, and that a 67-year-old Half Moon Bay resident named Chunli Zhao had been taken into custody.

Reports said the dead were Chinese farmworkers, and that Zhao had worked at one of the farms.

Corpus said deputies had been dispatched to two nurseries around Half Moon Bay, a rural spot known for surfing contests and a pumpkin festival, around mid-afternoon on Monday.

Four people were dead at one of the farms and one was critically wounded, while three more fatally wounded victims were found at a second location.

Corpus said children were present at one of the sites.

“It was in the afternoon when kids were out of school and for children to witness it is unspeakable,” she said.

Corpus said Zhou then drove to a sheriff’s substation in Half Moon Bay, where ABC7 crews captured dramatic footage of him being pulled to the ground by armed officers.

“Zhao was taken into custody without incident and a semi-automatic handgun was located in his vehicle,” Corpus said.

At the second shooting location, a short distance from the mushroom farm where four people were killed, sheriff’s deputies’ cars packed a roadside business plaza, home to shops offering party rentals, landscaping supplies and other services.

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