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Half Moon Bay mass shootings suspect accused of threatening, suffocating coworker in 2013

Half Moon Bay mass shootings suspect Chunli Zhao
via ABC7 News Bay Area, KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

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    The man arrested in connection to the fatal mass shootings at two separate locations in Half Moon Bay, California, earlier this week has been accused of threatening to kill a coworker nearly a decade ago.

    Chunli Zhao, 66, was subject to a temporary restraining order after Yingjiu Wang accused him of violence in 2013, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

    Zhao’s violent behavior allegedly started after he quit his restaurant job in March of that year.

    Wang claimed that he and Zhao had worked at the business and lived together in a San Jose apartment. Two days after leaving his job, Zhao allegedly went to Wang’s room and asked for his salary. Wang told him to pick it up at the restaurant.

    In a sudden turn of events, Zhao threatened to kill Wang, the documents said. In his declaration, Wang wrote that Zhao “took a pillow and started to cover my face and suffocate me.”

    Wang said he tried to call for help but Zhao locked the door, preventing another roommate from intervening. The pair wrestled each other until Zhao finally calmed down.

    Zhao threatened him again two days later, Wang said. This time, Zhao declared he would “use a knife to cut my [Wang’s] head if he can’t come back to work.”

    Wang maintained that he had no control over Zhao’s job at the restaurant.

    Soon after the incident, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Zhao, which barred him from approaching Wang and purchasing or owning a gun, according to court documents.

    Zhao is now accused of killing seven people in Monday’s shootings, which took place at two mushroom farms.

    San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus described the shootings as an “instance of workplace violence.”

    Zhao was a forklift driver at one of the farms, Mountain Mushroom Farm, for five to six years, according to KGO. He also notably lived there.

    So far, investigators believe he had grown resentful of his coworkers over the years.

    All eight victims — including the seven deceased and the one critically injured — appear to have been targeted.

    Authorities have yet to officially identify all of the victims, who were reported to be of Asian and Hispanic descent. Some were said to be migrant workers.

    Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, was among those killed, according to his brother Servando Martinez Jimenez. Marciano worked as a manager and delivery person at one of the farms.

    “He was a good person,” Servando told AP News. “He was polite and friendly with everyone. He never had any problems with anyone. I don’t understand why all this happened.”


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