Suspect who shot dead 7 people in California says he was ‘bullied’

Suspect Chunli Zhao, who shot and killed seven people on two California farms, said he had been bullied at work.

Suspect Chunli Zhao, 66, on January 26 told NBC Bay Area that he had been bullied, had to work long hours on farms and was ignored when speaking out. Zhao added about his personal situation, saying that he has been in the US for 11 years, has a permanent resident card and lives with his wife in the city of Half Moon Bay.

Terra Garden spokesman David Oates, where the shooting took place, confirmed Zhao lived on the farm with his wife, but they “did not receive any reports of bullying”.

Regarding the two shootings on January 23, Zhao said he initially entered the Terra Garden farm and shot and killed four people, injuring one person seriously. Zhao then drove to the nearby Concord farm, where he worked, and shot and killed three more people. According to the suspect, the gun that caused the crime was bought easily by him in 2021.

Suspect Chunli Zhao in court in California, USA, on January 25.  Photo: Reuters.

Suspect Chunli Zhao in court in California, USA, on January 25. Photo: Reuters.

San Mateo County Prosecutor Steve Wagstaffe charged Zhao with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, which could carry the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Half Moon Bay is a city of about 12,000 residents, home to both luxury resorts and farms with a community of low-income farmers.

Reuters said that Zhao’s shooting highlighted the difficulties farmers in the region face, many of them immigrants from Latin America and Asia, such as living on farms and working long hours in poor conditions with low wages.

Zhao opened fire and killed seven people less than 48 hours after a shooting at a discotheque in Monterey Park, California, left 11 people dead. The shooting suspect has been identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, but his purpose is unknown.

Ngoc Anh (Theo AP)

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