The farm where 4 people were killed was the subject of a separate shooting last summer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California mushroom farm where four people were killed Monday had another shooting last July where one official tried to kill another.

Court documents and a case summary from the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office show that California Terra Garden manager Martin Medina was charged with attempted murder after he threatened to kill the other manager and then fired a gun into the man’s trailer. The bullet passed through the trailer and into a nearby trailer. No one was hurt.

Charging documents obtained by The Associated Press say the nearby trailer was occupied by Yetao Bing and Ping Yang. Bing is the name of one of four people killed at the farm on Monday.

Chunli Zhao has been charged with seven murders in Monday’s shooting at the California Terra Garden and another nearby farm where three people were killed.

California Terra Garden spokesman David Oates said Zhao was not involved in the shooting last summer.

The Bay Area News Group first reported the previous shooting.

Zhao, 66, told KNTV-TV in a courthouse interview on Thursday that he committed the fatal shooting. He said he was not in his right mind when he walked into a mushroom farm where he worked in Half Moon Bay and shot and killed four people and seriously injured a fifth. He then drove to a nearby farm where he previously worked and killed three other people, prosecutors said.

Zhao said he was bullied and worked long hours on the farms and his complaints were ignored, the station reported.

Eric Hove, one of Zhao’s attorneys, did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Zhao spoke in Mandarin to the TV station reporter during a 15-minute interview at a Redwood City County jail. Zhao said he had been in the United States for 11 years and had a green card. He said he had a 40-year-old daughter in China and lived with his wife in Half Moon Bay.

Zhao told the station that he purchased the weapon used in the 2021 killings and did not encounter any obstacles during the purchase. He was planning to turn himself in to authorities when he was spotted by deputies who arrested him on Monday.

The shooting took place Monday at California Terra Garden, formerly known as Mountain Mushroom Farm, and nearby Concord Farms.

Oates, the spokesperson for California Terra Garden, confirmed that Zhao lived at the farm with his wife and said the farm had “no knowledge of any complaints from anyone regarding allegations of bullying.”

On Wednesday, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe charged Zhao with seven counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

The charges against Zhao include additional allegations that could result in the death penalty or life in prison without parole, although Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a moratorium on executions. Among these allegations, Zhao used a gun, caused serious bodily harm and killed several people.

The coroner’s office named six of the victims: Zhishen Liu, 73, of San Francisco; Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, of Moss Beach, Calif.; Aixiang Zhang, 74, of San Francisco; Qizhong Cheng, 66, from Half Moon Bay; Jingzhi Lu, 64, from Half Moon Bay; and Yetao Bing, 43, whose hometown was unknown.

Charging documents identify Jose Romero Perez as the other person killed and Pedro Romero Perez as the eighth victim, who survived the shooting.

The state Department of Labor is reviewing possible labor and occupational safety and health violations at the farms where the shootings took place, a spokeswoman for the Department of Industrial Relations said Thursday. Newsom’s office said some of the farm workers told him they made $9 an hour and lived in shipping containers. The state minimum wage is $15.50.

“The conditions the farm workers have shared with the governor…are simply deplorable. Many workers have no choice but to tolerate the terms offered to them by their employers,” Newsom spokesman Daniel Villaseñor said in a statement.


Gao reported from Los Angeles.