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Accused Half Moon Bay gunman Chunli Zhao indicted by grand jury

Half Moon Bay woman helps community still grieving mass shooting
Half Moon Bay woman helps community still grieving mass shooting 03:53

HALF MOON BAY – Nearly one year after seven people were killed at two mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay, a grand jury in San Mateo County has charged the accused gunman with multiple counts of murder.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe's office announced Monday that the county's criminal grand jury charged defendant Chunli Zhao on seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. Zhao is also charged with the special circumstance allegation of multiple murder.

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"The Grand Jury Indictment for the same crimes supersedes the felony complaint and renders the preliminary hearing unnecessary," the DA's office said in a statement.

Zhao had previously pled not guilty to the charges.  

California Farm Shootings
FILE - Chunli Zhao appears for his arraignment at San Mateo Superior Court in Redwood City, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. Zhao, a farmworker charged with killing seven people at two Half Moon Bay mushroom farms told investigators he was spurred to carry out the shootings after his supervisor demanded he pay $100 to repair a forklift damaged at work. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group via AP, Pool,File) Shae Hammond / AP

Prosecutors said Zhao opened fire on his co-workers during a shooting spree at the farms on January 23, 2023, killing seven co-workers and wounding an eighth co-worker.

The victims who died have been identified as Yetao Bing, 43, Zhishen Liu, 73, Aixiang Zhang, 74, Qizhong Cheng, 66, Jingzhi Lu, 64, Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, and Jose Romero Perez, 38.

The shooting was the deadliest in the Bay Area since the 2021 shooting at a VTA yard in San Jose, in which a gunman killed nine of his co-workers.

Prosecutors said Zhao will be arraigned on the indictment on Tuesday, exactly one year since the shooting.

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