7 dead as California mourns 3rd mass killing in 8 days

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — (AP) — Seven people were killed in two related shootings Monday at agricultural businesses in a Northern California community, marking the state’s third mass killing in eight days, including an attack at a dance hall that killed 11 during Lunar New Year celebrations.

Officers arrested a suspect in Monday’s shootings, 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, after they found him in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said.

Four people were found dead and a fifth injured from gunshot wounds at a farm, and officers found three other people killed at another location several miles away, the Sheriff’s Office said. Officials believe Zhao is a worker at one of the facilities and that the victims were workers as well, Corpus said. Corpus said officials hadn’t determined a motive for the shooting.

The new year has brought a shocking string of mass killings in the U.S. — six in less than three weeks, accounting for 39 deaths. Three have occurred in California since Jan. 16, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. The database tracks every mass killing — defined as four dead not including the offender — committed in the U.S. since 2006.

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