7 killed, 1 injured in Half Moon Bay shootings; suspect in custody


A San Mateo County deputy sheriff checks FBI agents as they arrive at the scene of a January 23, 2023 shooting in Half Moon Bay, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Seven people were killed Monday afternoon in a mass shooting that spanned two separate scenes in Half Moon Bay, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

Four victims with gunshot wounds were found dead at about 2:22 p.m. at a daycare center along the 12700 block of San Mateo Road (Highway 92), the sheriff’s office said. Another victim of the shooting was taken to Stanford Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Shortly after that discovery, three more victims were found dead at another day care center along the 2100 block of Cabrillo Highway South, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities identified the suspect as Chunli Zhao, 67, a resident of Half Moon Bay. He was taken into custody without incident around 4:40 p.m. after being found in his vehicle in the substation parking lot of the sheriff’s office in Half Moon Bay, the sheriff’s office said. A semi-automatic pistol was found in his car.

Authorities believe Zhao acted alone, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said. A motive for the shooting was not immediately known.

The victims are believed to be laborers on the properties, Corpus said. Half Moon Bay councilor Debbie Ruddock said the victims are Chinese farm workers.

“This is a devastating tragedy for this community and the families affected by this unspeakable act of violence,” Corpus said.

A family reunification center was established at IDES Hall, located at 735 Main St. in Half Moon Bay.

The shooting in Half Moon Bay follows a mass shooting in Monterey Park, Southern California, that left 11 people dead.

“These kinds of shootings are horrific,” Corpus said. “It’s a tragedy that we hear about way too often, but today it hits here in San Mateo County.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom said he met with the victims of the Monterey Park shooting when he learned about the mass shooting in Half Moon Bay.

“Tragedy upon tragedy,” he said in a tweet.

Other local, state and federal leaders expressed similar sentiments.

This is an evolving story. Details may change as more information becomes available. Stay tuned for updates.

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