Nearly a decade before he allegedly committed murders at two northern California mushroom farms, the suspected gunman was accused of suffocating and threatening to murder a former co-worker at another job.
Police say Chunli Zhao shot dead seven people, including some of his fellow workers, at two mushroom farms on Monday. But it was not the first time he was accused of violence against someone he worked with, court records obtained by CNN show.
Zhao was temporarily banned in 2013 after a former co-worker and roommate accused Zhao of assaulting and threatening her.
Yingjiu Wang, who worked with Zhao at a restaurant and lived with him in a San Jose apartment, wrote in a court declaration that Zhao’s violent behavior began in March 2013 after Zhao quit her job at their shared workplace.
Early in the morning two days later, Zhao came to Wang’s room and asked for his salary. When Wang asked him to pick it up at the restaurant, Zhao said he would kill Wang, and then “took a pillow and started covering my face and I suffocated,” Wang wrote.
When he could not breathe, Wang wrote, “I exerted all my strength in a few seconds and pushed him away from my blanket.”
She said she called for help and another roommate came to the door, but Zhao had locked it. According to Wang, the two men ended up wrestling on Wang’s bed before Zhao could calm down.
Two days later, he wrote, Zhao threatened him again, saying that “he can use a knife to cut off my head if I cannot return to work.” Wang wrote that he had no control over Zhao’s work status at the restaurant.
According to court paperwork, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Zhao, which prohibited him from getting too close to Wang and also prohibited him from possessing or purchasing a gun. The restraining order expired in July 2013.
the incident was informed earlier by San Francisco Chronicle.
An attorney for Zhao in the 2013 complaint did not respond to requests for comment. Wang could not be reached for comment.