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2 victims identified in Half Moon Bay shootings

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The San Mateo County coroner’s office has identified two of the seven victims killed Monday in a pair of related shootings in Half Moon Bay and is working to notify the families.

Coroner Robert J. Foucrault declined to provide the victims’ names or release any further information early Tuesday morning, saying that the office is attempting to locate their next of kin.

“When notifications to the next of kin have been made, we can release some info,” Foucrault said in a text message.

In an interview Tuesday morning with CNNHalf Moon Bay Mayor Deborah Penrose said the investigation into the shootings is ongoing.

“Only thing we do know is that some of the victims were Chinese, that the perpetrator was Chinese, and that this was an agricultural community,” Penrose said. “They were agricultural workers.”

Various city agencies are coordinating to support the affected families, Penrose said.

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The shooting suspect, identified as Chunli Zhao, 67, was arrested as he sat in his car at the San Mateo County sheriff’s substation in Half Moon Bay at about 4:40 p.m. Monday, officials said.

Mugshot of Chunli Zhao

Chunli Zhao is the suspect in the shootings that left seven people dead in Half Moon Bay.

(San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office)

Video from KGO-TV showed deputies taking a man to the ground in the parking lot. The man was wearing a white cap, vest and red long-sleeve shirt. The weapon believed to have been used in the incident, a semiautomatic handgun, was found inside his car.

Zhao, a Half Moon Bay resident, is suspected of opening fire at two rural locations about a mile apart, shooting some of the victims in front of children who lived nearby and had recently been released from school.

Jail records showed Zhao was being held in San Mateo County’s Maguire Correctional Facility. He was booked on charges of premeditated murder and first-degree attempted murder, with a sentencing enhancement of discharging a firearm during a violent felony.

Christina Corpus, the San Mateo County sheriff, told CNN on Tuesday morning that the investigators are still learning about the suspect, who was not previously known to local law enforcement.

“Here in San Mateo County, he wasn’t a red flag for us, nothing to put him on our radar,” she said. “He was known to the individuals at his workplace because he was employed there.”

The shootings in Half Moon Bay come after 11 people were killed Saturday in another mass shooting in Monterey Park, California’s second mass shooting in just three days.

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