California farm shooting suspect claims to have mental health issues

California farm shooting suspect claims to have mental health issues< /p> UPDATE DAY

The man suspected of having killed seven of his fellow agricultural workers in California acknowledged the facts Thursday to an American journalist and assured that he suffered from mental disorders, while denouncing the overwork imposed by his employer. 

Currently in pretrial detention, Chunli Zhao is to be prosecuted for the two attacks he perpetrated on Monday at two farms in Half Moon Bay, near San Francisco. This 66-year-old Chinese admitted his guilt on Thursday when an NBC journalist visited him in prison.

“He admitted to having done it” and “he regrets it”, said explained Janelle Wang, one of NBC's local San Francisco-area anchors. 

During their interview in Mandarin, limited to 15 minutes, the suspect explained that he “believes to suffer from certain mental disorders”, she added. “He's been battling it for a while and he says he wasn't in his normal state on Monday. »

Arrested in the parking lot of a police station a few hours after the massacre, the suspect confided that he had parked there to surrender, according to her.

Among his victims, five are Chinese and two are Mexicans. Another of his ex-colleagues, also Mexican, was injured and is still hospitalized.


To try to explain his act, Chunli Zhao said “that he had the impression of having suffered years of humiliation”, summed up the journalist. “He had a lot of complaints about long hours and overwork, and he spoke about them, but he says they were not taken into account. »

In the wake of the killings, authorities have opened an investigation into working conditions at the two farms.

Visiting Half Moon Bay on Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom denounced “the conditions” imposed on some state farms, with workers “living in shipping containers, earning nine bucks an hour” — well below minimum wage — and having “no health coverage.”


According to Ms. Wang, Chunli Zhao, the father of a 40-year-old daughter who resides in China, lived in Half Moon Bay with his wife. He explained that he had lived in the United States for 11 years and held a green card, the famous sesame which allows immigrants to work in the country on a permanent basis.

The suspect, who faces prison life or even the death penalty raises many questions about the legal process, according to the journalist. “I don't know if he really understands what awaits him and what he risks,” she explained.

After a brief preliminary hearing on Wednesday, his next appearance is scheduled for February 16.

Mystery in the other killing

The killing perpetrated by Chunli Zhao has deeply shocked California, less than 48 hours after another massacre led by a septuagenarian of Asian origin which left 11 dead near Los Angeles.

The other shooter, Huu Can Tran, wreaked havoc on Saturday in the middle of Chinese New Year at a long-time Monterey Park dance hall, and attempted to attack another ballroom before committing suicide . 

According to police, the 72-year-old man was of Vietnamese origin, but had previously lived in Hong Kong. His motives remain a mystery and investigators have yet to identify his motive, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna admitted Wednesday. 

Authorities say the shooter used a semi-automatic pistol. automatic Cobray CM11-9, an illegal weapon in California. However, “it was bought by the suspect (…) in the city of Monterey Park,” said the sheriff.

Vice President Kamala Harris visited this suburban suburb of Asian majority on Wednesday, where she met with the families of victims. Like President Joe Biden, who is calling for swift passage of a bill to restrict access to assault rifles to people over 21, she has called for better gun control in the United States.

US lawmakers “must act,” she insisted.