New court documents reveal chilling details about Chunli Zhao, the suspect arrested in the Half Moon Bay mass shooting.
On Monday, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus announced that Zhao was arrested following a mass shooting that left at least seven individuals dead at two separate locations in the California city of Half Moon Bay.
During a press conference, Corpus said that while no motive was discovered, authorities believed that Zhao previously worked at one of the agricultural facilities where one of the shootings occurred.
Shortly after the mass shooting, the San Francisco Chronicle obtained court documents related to threats Zhao previously made to a former co-worker and roommate, Jingjiu Wang. According to the Chronicle, one court document involved a temporary restraining order that Wang filed against Zhao, after the 67-year-old allegedly threatened to kill Wang in 2013.
“Mr. Zhao said to me, today I am going to kill you.…He then took a pillow and started to cover my face and suffocate me,” Wang, who worked with Zhao at a restaurant in San Jose, wrote in the restraining order, according to the Chronicle.
In another instance in 2013, Wang said that Zhao threatened him with using a kitchen knife to split his head open, the Chronicle reported.
During the press conference on Monday night, Corpus explained that authorities first responded to a shooting incident at around 2 p.m. local time and discovered four fatally shot individuals near the 12700 block of San Mateo Road. Three other individuals were found dead at another location nearby, Corpus said.
“This kind of shooting is horrific. It’s a tragedy we hear about too often, but today it’s hit home here in San Mateo County,” Corpus said.
Zhao was arrested shortly after the shooting at a sheriff’s office substation after he was found there parked in his car. The weapon allegedly used in the crime was also found in his vehicle, San Mateo Captain Eamonn Allen said.
In a statement following the shooting, San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen M. Wagstaffe said, “This is an unprecedented tragedy in San Mateo County. We continue to call on our Federal and California legislators to enact laws to help bring this senseless wave of violence to an end.
“Here at the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, we will continue to aggressively prosecute those who violate the gun laws of California and hold them accountable.”
Earlier this week, at least 10 individuals were fatally shot at another mass shooting in Monterey Park, California. The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Newsweek reached out to the San Mateo County sheriff’s office for comment.