Suspect in California farm shooting awaits trial

Suspect in California farm shooting awaits trial

The man suspected of killing seven of his fellow farm workers in California and wounding another was due to appear on Wednesday to face charges.

• Also read: Seven dead in double shooting in California

Chunli Zhao, 67, was arrested Monday outside the Half Moon Bay Police Station shortly after the two attacks on farms in this town near San Francisco.

He is expected to face seven counts of murder and one attempted murder, crimes aggravated by the use of a firearm, a spokesman for the San Mateo County District Attorney said.

Sheriff Christina Corpus said Tuesday the suspect appears to know his victims, five men and two women, who are of Asian or Hispanic descent.

“All the evidence we have points to this being a case of workplace violence,” she said.

Chunli Zhao and his wife lived with other employees at the Mountain Mushroom Farms site where the first attack took place.

A former colleague of the suspect, with whom he allegedly worked at a restaurant, obtained an eviction order for violence against him, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“Today I’m going to kill you,” Chunli Zhao reportedly told her before attempting to smother her with a pillow.

Monday’s shooting, less than 48 hours after the killing of 11 people in a popular Asian ballroom near Los Angeles, shocked California’s large community of Asian Americans.