At the beginning of the Lunar New Year in 2023, a series of shootings in California shocked the whole United States. It is even more incredible that the suspects in the two shootings were all elderly Asians. In the second shooting at the Half Moon Bay Farm in California, the Chinese immigrant status of the murderer was particularly eye-catching. The murderer surnamed Zhao from Shenyang had violent tendencies before committing the crime and was worried about gun culture, but in the end, he still chose to use guns to go on the road of no return.
The tragedies happened one after another, and the Asian gunman committed the crimes and shocked the whole United States
On the evening of Chinese New Year’s Eve (January 21) in 2023, a 72-year-old Asian suspect (Huu Can Tran) shot and killed 11 people in a ballroom dance hall in (Monterey Park) near Los Angeles, and then committed suicide. Just two days later, on January 23, another shooting occurred in (Half Moon Bay), San Mateo County (San Mateo County), about 48 kilometers south of San Francisco, resulting in 7 deaths and 1 serious injury.
The perpetrator of the shooting on January 23 was Chunli Zhao, a 67-year-old citizen of Half Moon Bay, who has been arrested by the police. The suspect surnamed Zhao first shot and killed 5 people on a local mushroom farm, 4 of whom died and 1 was seriously injured. He then went to another mushroom-growing farm less than two kilometers away from the farm and shot and killed three more people.
Half Moon Bay City is located in the central part of California, with a population of about 12,000. The main industries are agriculture and planting. The main crops are flowers, peas, Brussels sprouts, etc. There are also some mushroom farms. The local beautiful Pacific Ocean seascape and the annual Great Pumpkin Festival also attract a large number of tourists and surfing enthusiasts. San Mateo County, where Half Moon Bay is located, is dotted with seaside towns surrounded by mountains and farms. The main ethnic group in the area is white, about 1/3 Latino, and 5% Asian. The San Mateo County Police said at a press conference on January 24 that the eight victims (5 men and 2 women died) were Asian and Latino, and the suspect surnamed Zhao was an employee of one of the farms. The homicide is most likely caused by workplace disputes.
The first mushroom farm that Zhao Chunli murdered has been operated by a company called California Terra Garden since March 2022. Its main business is to provide edible mushrooms for restaurants, and it also grows vegetables such as basil leaves and oregano leaves. Wait for the spices. California Land Gardens spokesman David Oates told VOA that the farm has 35 employees who had been working on the farm before it was transferred to a new operating company last March.
“We are appalled by this unimaginable act of violence,” Oates said. “At this time our focus is on supporting the families of the victims, as well as other employees of the company. We will face a very long period of healing from this tragedy. “Oates told VOA that Zhao Chunli has a legal work permit and social security number in the United States, but he did not confirm whether Zhao is a Chinese citizen or a U.S. citizen. Oates also denied claims on various social platforms that the farm grew marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms after the incident.
The suspect had too many grievances with his colleagues and had long been prone
to violence. Voice of America contacted Mr. Zhang (whose real name was not used at the request of the interviewee) who had worked on the farm a few years ago and asked him what he knew about Zhao Chunli. Mr. Zhang said that he had worked with Zhao Chunli for more than a year, and Zhao was a “small-minded” person in his eyes.
“He gave me the impression that he is a person who is more careful and careful in life. The Chinese say he is ‘not generous’. In terms of work, if there is any friction between a certain employee, he likes to hide behind his back. Make a small report, saying that another employee is not good, but he is better. And he likes to take advantage of the small things.
If you give him a little easier work and more money, he will think you are very good. The reason for this (murder) is, I heard that he thought that the manager of the farm did not assign work equally, and he felt that the intentional discrimination and bullying caused him to have a problem with the manager, so he killed the manager.”Mr. Zhang told VOA that Zhao Chunli’s hometown in Liaoning. One daughter is still in Shenyang. He and his wife live on the farm, and his wife works in a massage parlor.
Mr. Zhang said: “Because he is narrow-minded, he can’t make many friends. He will flatter people who are more capable than him, but for people with similar abilities, he will speak ill of others behind his back. This is his fault.” Personality.”Mr. Zhang said that among the victims who were shot, two were from Zhao Chunli’s Northeast hometown, and they used to live on the farm. “How many families he has ruined with a single impulse, and he is also ashamed of his family.”
“He thinks that he is relatively old in this company, and he likes to take advantage of small advantages. These two fellow villagers joined this company later than him, no I know whether it was introduced by him or recruited by the second company. In life, it is the neighbor who lives with him. I heard that in the past two months, because of small things in life, they have become ignoring each other. You see, I am redundant. I think you are too redundant. The grievances between each other are too deep for small things, to the point where water and fire are incompatible.”Mr. Zhang said that from December last year to January this year, there were not many things to do on the whole farm, and there was not so much work. The manager
arranged for the two murdered Chinese to do more things, so the working hours were longer. “Every day the manager asks Zhao Gan not to continue working until noon, or 1 o’clock, or 2 o’clock. He can only work for a few hours. The other two fellow villagers may work until 6:00 or 7:00 pm, which is more time than him. In four or five hours, he lost a lot of money. Because of this, he felt that the manager favored those two fellow villagers, so he also killed the manager this time.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the largest circulation newspaper in northern California According to report on January 24, as early as 2013, Zhao Chunli’s colleagues had called the police because of Zhao’s violent tendencies. Court records show that Zhao threatened to slash the reporter’s head with a knife and tried to suffocate him with a pillow because of a workplace dispute. The reporter was Zhao Chunli’s roommate at the time, and they both worked in the same restaurant. The victim, Jingjiu Wang, applied to the court for a restraining order against Zhao and was granted, which has now expired. From “hater” to “executor” of gun culture: The suspect in the Half Moon Bay shooting has long been prone to violence.
Voice of America, the “hater” and “executor” of gun culture,
also obtained two videos recorded by Zhao Chunli in July 2022. One of the videos on July 2 lasted more than 3 minutes. It was recorded by Zhao himself while filming and narrating. The location is exactly the farm trailer house community where Zhao Chunli lives. In the video, Zhao Chunli walked into the trailer home of a Latino family living on the farm and explained that on July 1, the resident was shot. “No one was hurt, but the windows of this house have been broken,” Zhao said in the video.
Next, Zhao Chunli carefully photographed the bullet holes left on the wall and explained, “This is a 9mm bullet.” Then he walked into another Chinese home and found and photographed the bullet holes left by bullets passing through the windows in the interior cardboard boxes. Zhao’s narration sounded worried: “It’s dangerous, many people are living here”, and declared that “the live broadcast will let the world see the proliferation of guns in the United States. “After Zhao walked out of the trailer, he said with emotion: “We don’t feel safe at all, bullets are flying everywhere.”
In another video obtained by Voice of America, Zhao Chunli is shooting with his back to the camera at a live ammunition shooting range. In the video, he is wearing a black T-shirt, army green pants, and noise-canceling headphones, shooting, reloading, and shooting at the target very skillfully. The length of the video is about 46 seconds. Seven months later, he pointed the gun at his fellow villagers and colleagues.