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Fatigue and frustration mount as CA sees 3rd mass shooting in over a week


In the wake of the worst massacre in Los Angeles County history, the Governor of California was meeting with gunshot victims in the hospital when he was pulled out and informed of a mass shooting across the street. ‘State.

News that a gunman had killed seven people at mushroom farms in a scenic coastal part of Northern California came just hours after Governor Gavin Newsom spoke of his fatigue and frustration over the shootings of mass.

“I can’t keep doing them,” he told reporters earlier Monday in Monterey Park, where 11 people were killed at a dance studio. “Saying the same thing over and over and over again is crazy.

HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA FATAL FARM SHOOTING: WHO IS SUSPECT CHUNLI ZHAO?

Still, Newsom was in Half Moon Bay on Tuesday to address the third mass shooting in just over a week in a state with some of the nation’s toughest gun laws and gun death rates. the lowest.

His voice brimming with anger and emotion at times, Newsom said he consulted notes he had used in past mass shootings: the killing of 12 people in a Thousand Oaks country and western bar in 2018 ; the murder of three people and the injury of 17 others at the 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival; the murder of nine workers at a San Jose rail yard in 2021.

“I started writing in ‘Monterey Park,'” Newsom said. “And now I have to write, ‘Half Moon Bay.’ What the hell is happening?”

A 66-year-old farm worker has been charged with murder and attempted murder after shooting eight people, killing seven, in a crime authorities said was a case of workplace violence in the rich agricultural area between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountains.

In Monterey Park, a 72-year-old gunman fired into a dance hall in an Asian American community celebrating Lunar New Year’s Eve on Saturday night, injuring nine people in addition to 11 killed. The shooter then committed suicide.

A week earlier, at least two assailants fatally shot a 16-year-old mother holding her 10-month-old baby and killed four others in a brazen attack in a central California farming community that was n has still not been resolved.

“Our hearts are with the people of California,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday during a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders. “They’ve had a tough few days.”

Biden noted that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced an assault weapons ban, and he urged lawmakers to pass it.

Newsom also called for tougher gun safety laws and particularly focused on high-capacity magazines — like the one the dance studio shooter had — and what he called “the weapons of the fucking war”.

“We say all the time, ‘Only in America,'” he said. “#1 in gun ownership, #1 in gun deaths. It’s not even complicated.”

The recent killings moved California up five places to 26th in the number of fatal mass shootings per capita in the United States since 2006, according to a USA TODAY/AP/Northeastern University mass killings database. The database only counts murders of at least four people.

Women place candles on a memorial outside City Hall in Monterey Park, a few blocks from the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, on January 24, 2023, in California.
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

While California has the highest number of fatal mass shootings – 49, including the recent three – it previously ranked 31st after adjusting to be the most populous state in the country with nearly 40 million people.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks California as having the 7th lowest firearm death rate in the nation per 100,000 population, according to the most recent statistics available from 2020. This is 20th lowest in homicide rate, which is not limited to shootings. .

With the back-to-back murders, detectives at both ends of the state were trying to answer the question that often goes unanswered in the face of senseless violence: Why?

Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna called dance hall shooter Huu Can Tran, 72, ‘crazy’ and said investigators are looking into whether he had any dealings with the people who were shot at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

Tran fired 42 rounds in the ballroom popular with older Asian Americans. He then went to another dance hall nearby where an employee snatched a modified 9mm submachine gun from him, Luna said.

Tran shot and killed himself on Sunday as officers surrounded the van he was in. A handgun was recovered from the van, which matched descriptions of the vehicle he used to drive away from the dance studio.

Mounds of flowers, including dozens of yellow and white mums, were left outside the studio’s closed doors on Tuesday. On a column of bricks next to the doors, someone taped a piece of blue paper with the inscription “Ban Semi-automatic Rifles” and a Chinese translation underneath.

Hundreds of people turned out Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil at Monterey Park City Hall. Wooden hearts bore the names of the victims. A woman helped her young daughter place flowers on the memorials. “There are so many,” she said, her voice shaking. “We won’t have enough.”

There have been six massacres so far this year in the United States, and the Monterey Park shooting was the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, in Texas.

The Half Moon Bay killings came less than 48 hours later when Chunli Zhao, 66, shot dead five people at a mushroom farm where he worked, killing four people, authorities said. He then drove to a nearby farm where he once worked and shot and killed three other people.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT NEWSOM SAYS 2ND AMENDMENT BECOMES SUICIDE PACT AFTER MONTEREY PARK SHOOTING

The victims were Asian and Hispanic, and some were migrant workers.

One of the workers killed was Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, his brother, Servando Martinez Jimenez, told The Associated Press. He was originally from the Mexican state of Oaxaca and lived in the United States for 28 years.

“He was a good person,” Martinez Jimenez said in Spanish. “He was polite and friendly with everyone. He never had any problems with anyone. I don’t understand why any of this happened.”

The farm shootings were the largest massacre in San Mateo County.

“Never before in this county have we had so many deaths at one scene or at one time,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Zhao was arrested after officers found him in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s station.

Eamonn Allen, spokesperson for the San Mateo County Sheriff, declined to say if Zhao had a criminal history, but said “there were no specific indicators that would have led us to believe he was capable of something like that”.

The San Francisco Chronicle, however, reported that Zhao was accused 10 years ago of threatening to split a colleague’s head open with a knife and separately attempting to suffocate the man with a pillow, based on court documents.

Authorities have shared little about Tran, who briefly owned a trucking business in Monterey Park from 2002 to 2004, according to California business records.

He was arrested once for illegal possession of a firearm in 1990 and had a limited criminal history, Luna said. The sheriff could not immediately say whether a gun arrest at a time when gun laws were different would have prevented him from owning guns.

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Tran once attended the ballroom and another dance hall which he later targeted and complained about how he thought people treated him there, a man told The Associated Press. who identified himself as a longtime friend.

Tran was perpetually suspicious and paranoid and regularly complained that people in clubs didn’t like him, according to the former friend who requested anonymity to speak about Tran because he wanted to avoid the media spotlight.

Investigators were also looking at reports Tran had made twice this month to police in the town where he lived that family members tried to poison, defraud and rob him a while ago. ten or two years in the Los Angeles area, said Hemet police spokesman Alan Reyes. Associated Press. Tran never returned with the documents he had promised to provide.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies searched Tran’s home Monday in a gated seniors’ community in Hemet, just over an hour’s drive from the site of the massacre. Officers found a .308 caliber rifle, an unknown number of bullets, and evidence that he made homemade gun suppressors that muffled the sound of weapons.

Newsom said he deliberately avoids press conferences in Los Angeles to meet with community residents, people with gunshot wounds and the hero, Brandon Tsay, who disarmed Tran.

While he was in Monterey Park, a teary-eyed mother drove into his car and asked him to reassure her three daughters that everything was going to be okay. Her 8-year-old son had heard the shots and knew they weren’t firecrackers. She hadn’t slept at night and was afraid to go to school, the mother said.

Newsom told the girl, “It’s going to get better.”

But in front of a group of dozens of politicians, law enforcement officers and journalists gathered in Half Moon Bay, he said he was relieved that she hadn’t made him close his fingers and promise as his wife would. own 8 year old daughter. “Because I wasn’t so sure.”

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