Half Moon Bay shooter was motivated to kill 7 people over $100 farm equipment repair bill, DA confirms: He ‘shot his colleagues after his boss billed him for broken forklift’ at Northern California farm
- A Chinese farm worker is accused of killing seven in California on Monday
- The suspect, Chunli Zhao, 66, was irate at his boss at the farm over the bill
- Zhao was previously accused of trying to split his roommate’s head open
The Chinese farm worker accused of shooting dead seven people and wounding another in the Half Moon Bay area of Northern California carried out the massacre over a $100 bill for damaged equipment, the city’s district attorney has revealed.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe made the revelation Friday, confirming an assertion already made by Chunli Zhao – a 66-year-old forklift operator at one of the two farms targeted during the attack – in a recent jailhouse interview.
The shooting transpired last Monday, and was the third to hit the Golden State in just as many days – leaving members of the small coastal community just outside of San Francisco struggling to make sense of the tragedy.
Speaking to a Bay Area new outlet, Wagstaffe finally provided insight as to Zhao’s motives for carrying out the assault on his employer California Terra Garden farm, and the nearby Concord Farms, two days after being arraigned in Redwood City.
Chunli Zhao – a 66-year-old forklift operator at one of the farms targeted during the attack – allegedly carried out the attack over a dispute with his boss over a bill for damaged equipment
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe made the revelation Friday, confirming an assertion already made by Zhao in a recent jailhouse interview
The revelation comes as investigators had already aired the belief that the shootings may have been the result of a workplace dispute, with all eight victims ‘intentionally targeted.’ It also comes as the significant other of one of those slain by Zhao came forward Tuesday to confirm her loved one was among the dead.
‘I’m still scared and trying to figure out what happened,’ the first witness told CNN Tuesday of how he ran for cover with other farm hands as the suspect opened fire, killing four of his coworkers. He then added: ‘I don’t understand.’
The witness further revealed to the outlet that he had worked with Zhao for about six years at the farm before the tragedy – claim that was supported from an employee who spoke to ABC who said Zhao had worked at the farm for somewhere between ‘five to six years’ as a forklift driver.
Moreover, after carrying the first part of the massacre, the witness said, Zhao fled the scene on a forklift, traveling two miles away to Mountain Mushroom Farms to claim three more lives.
The shooting transpired last Monday, and was the third to hit the Golden State in just as many days. Four of the victims were shot at a facility run by Concord Farms, and three at Mountain Mushroom Farms two miles away
Still struggling to make sense of the tragedy, the survivor said that he had considered Zhao to be ‘friendly’ and ‘a nice guy,’ and had no inkling as to what ‘his problem with these guys’ were, referring to the victims.
He added that he at first tried to hide when the first shots rang out, joined by several frightened coworkers on the farm, where roughly two dozen work in total.
Heartbreakingly, he said he saw one of the victims allegedly shot by Zhao outside of a greenhouse, but after seeing how much he was bleeding, realized ‘it was too late.’
Investigators later found another victim inside the greenhouse, the witness said, adding that both the victims, like the suspect, had been Chinese men.
The source said that after the gunfire ceased, he saw the suspect drive off on a forklift. He asked not to be named due to the ongoing police investigation.
On Tuesday, cops confirmed that there had been accounts from witnesses and those who knew Zhao that suggestedhe may have been disgruntled –