A suspected gunman was arrested Monday after seven people were shot to death at two day care centers near a small town south of San Francisco, authorities said.
The victims were found outside Half Moon Bay, a coastal city of about 11,000 about 30 miles south of San Francisco, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus told reporters.
An eighth victim was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, Corpus said.
The suspected shooter was identified as 67-year-old Zhao Chunli. Aerial video captured by NBC Bay Area showed Chunli turning himself in to authorities at a sheriff’s substation in Half Moon Bay.
A motive was unknown, Corpus said. The victims have not yet been identified, but the sheriff said they are believed to be farm workers.
People live in one or both places, and Corpus said children were present when gunshots erupted.
«It was in the afternoon when the children were out of school,» he said. «That children witness this is indescribable.»
Deputies were dispatched to the first location at 2:22 p.m. following a report of a shooting, Corpus said. They found four people dead in the business and one person seriously injured, he said.
Shortly thereafter, authorities found three other fatally injured victims at the second location, he said.
About two hours after the first shooting, an officer located Chunli’s van at the substation and was taken into custody, Corpus said.
It was not clear how long Chunli had been there or why he was there, he said.
The shooting comes two days after a mass shooting in Southern California left 11 dead who had gathered at a Los Angeles County dance hall for Lunar New Year celebrations.
Investigators in that case believe the alleged gunman may have been targeting his ex-wife.
«At the hospital meeting with the victims of a mass shooting when they took me aside to inform me about another shooting.» Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday. «This time in Half Moon Bay.»
«Tragedy after tragedy,» he said.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.