Half Moon Bay shooting suspect once tried to choke co-worker, court documents say

Worker at Half Moon Bay Mushroom Farm
suspected of murdering seven colleagues
in a fit of workplace rage was previously accused of threatening to split another co-worker’s head open with a knife and trying to strangle the man a decade ago at another job in the Bay Area, according to court records obtained by The Chronicle.

In 2013, Yingjiu Wang filed for a temporary restraining order against 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, telling a judge that his roommate and colleague at a San Jose restaurant had physically assaulted him and made death threats days earlier. A judge issued the order, which is no longer in effect. Efforts to reach Wang were not immediately successful.

Santa Clara County Superior Court records paint a picture similar to that of Monday’s mass shooting, the deadliest in San Mateo County history.

Investigators say Zhao shot and killed his co-workers at two mushroom farms while injuring an eighth employee in an incident of “workplace violence.” The San Mateo County district attorney said he plans to file charges Tuesday against Zhao, who is being held without bond at the Redwood City jail, where he has been booked on seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Zhao’s former roommate Yingjiu Wang wrote in a 2013 request for a restraining order that Zhao made “threats to make his work life difficult and threatened to kill me if I didn’t get his job back.”

Chronicle composition

In March 2013, Zhao was working at a restaurant in the South Bay. On March 10, according to Wang’s restraining order application, he quit his job. Over the next week, Wang described in court records an escalating fear of his roommate and former colleague’s behavior.

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