A farmworker charged with killing seven people at two Half Moon Bay mushroom farms reportedly told investigators he was spurred to carry out the shootings after his supervisor demanded he pay $100 to repair a forklift damaged at work.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe confirmed to the Bay Area News Group Friday that Chunli Zhao was enraged by the equipment bill, saying that a co-worker was to blame for the collision between his forklift and the co-worker's bulldozer.
Authorities say Zhao, 66, shot and killed four workers and wounded a fifth employee Monday at California Terra Garden. He then went to nearby Concord Farms, where he had worked previously, and fatally shot three former co-workers.
Zhao told NBC Bay Area in a courthouse interview Thursday that he committed the shootings. He said he was bullied and worked long hours on the farms and his complaints were ignored, the station reported.
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On Monday, Zhao vented to his supervisor about the bill, but the supervisor insisted he needed to pay. Zhao then allegedly shot the supervisor and the co-worker, the news outlets reported.
Speaking in Mandarin, Zhao told NBC Bay Area from a county jail in Redwood City that he has been in the U.S. for 11 years and has a green card. He said he has a 40-year-old daughter in China and lived with his wife in Half Moon Bay.
The coroner’s office has named six of the victims: Zhishen Liu, 73, of San Francisco; Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, of Moss Beach, California; Aixiang Zhang, 74, of San Francisco; Qizhong Cheng, 66, of Half Moon Bay; Jingzhi Lu, 64, of Half Moon Bay; and Yetao Bing, 43, whose hometown was unknown.
U.S. & World
The charging documents identified Jose Romero Perez as the other person killed and Pedro Romero Perez as the eighth victim, who survived.