‘Never take human life for granted,’ Archbishop Cordileone says after second mass shooting

Half Moon Bay shooting FBI agents arrive at a farm on Jan. 24, 2023, where a mass shooting occurred in Half Moon Bay, California, the day before. Seven people were killed at two separate farm locations that were only a few miles apart. The suspect, Chunli Zhao, was taken into custody a few hours later without incident. | Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the wake of yet another mass shooting in California, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone released a statement Monday reminding people of the frailty of human life.

“The recent shootings in Monterey Park and now in Half Moon Bay remind us of how fragile human life is, but also how precious human life is,” the archbishop said in the statement posted on the archdiocese’s website. “We must never take human life for granted. We must never take out our aggressions and our frustrations on others, especially in any form of violence.”

Seven farmworkers were killed and one was critically injured after a gunman opened fire Monday afternoon at two separate nurseries in Half Moon Bay, California, about 30 miles south of San Francisco.

The 67-year-old suspect, Chunli Zhao, is thought to have worked at one of the farms and is believed to have acted alone, NBC Bay Area news reported. He was taken into custody without incident later that afternoon.

“We must never take out our aggressions and our frustrations on others, especially in any form of violence,” Cordileone said in his statement.

“Yes, we need to come together to pray, and we pray for the victims, their families, the perpetrator, but we need to pray all the time,” he said. “Not just during these moments of great tragedy, but all the time.”

Investigators on Tuesday were still trying to figure out a motive for the crime, according to NBC Bay Area news.

The Half Moon Bay shooting comes just two days after another gunman killed 10 and wounded several others at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park outside Los Angeles on Saturday. An 11th victim succumbed to injuries sustained in the shooting on Monday, KTLA reported. The shooter in that incident died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound as authorities surrounded his van Sunday morning.

The niece of one of the victims of that shooting — which occurred in the midst of the Lunar New Year festival — 65-year-old My Nhan, posted a tribute to her aunt on Twitter.

“She spent so many years going to the dance studio in Monterey Park on weekends. It’s what she loved to do. But unfairly, Saturday was her last dance,” Tiffany Liou wrote. “We are starting the Lunar New Year broken. We never imagined her life would end so suddenly.”

“We need to reclaim God at the center of our lives,” Cordileone concluded his statement. “He is the one who will grant us his peace.”

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