‘He took on the father role’: Half Moon Bay shooting victims are remembered by loved ones

On the right side of the otherwise dark frame, a woman holds a lighted candle in a tall glass. Flowers are in the foreground.
Merced Martinez places a candle at a memorial for shooting victims in Half Moon Bay on Tuesday.
(Carlos Avila Gonzalez / San Francisco Chronicle)

Marciano Martinez Jimenez had lived in Half Moon Bay for 25 years and was an active member of the Oaxacan community and a father figure to many who loved him.

Ye Tao Bing was a family man and thoughtful friend who possessed incredible expertise in mushrooms, especially white button, shiitake and oyster mushroom production.

For the record:

10:22 a.m. Jan. 26, 2023An earlier version of this article referred to Marciano Jimenez Martinez. His last name is Martinez Jimenez.

Jose Romero Perez had just arrived in Half Moon Bay a year and a half ago with big dreams and an even bigger heart.


All three men were among the seven people killed on Monday after a gunman opened fire at two farms in this rural coast community, inducting the town into a national club marked by grief and trauma and leaving families and loved ones deep in anguish as they confront the heartache that comes with loss.

The suspect in the attack, Chunli Zhao, was arrested and faces felony charges, including seven counts of murder, that could make him subject to the death penalty, authorities said.

A man in a hooded sweatshirt stands outside of a house.
Servando Martinez speaks to reporters outside his Half Moon Bay home about his brother, Marciano Jimenez Martinez, who was among those killed.
(Olga R. Rodriguez / Associated Press)

In addition to Martinez Jimenez, the names of the six other people fatally shot were released Tuesday: Zhi Shen Liu, 73, of San Francisco; Qi Zhong Cheng, 66, of Half Moon Bay; Ai Xiang Zhang, 74, of San Francisco; Jing Zhi Lu, 64, of Half Moon Bay; Ye Tao Bing, 43, of New Jersey; and Jose Romero Perez, a Mexican national.

Chunli Zhao, suspected of fatally shooting seven people in Half Moon Bay, has been charged with seven counts of murder, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Jan. 25, 2023

Jose Romero Perez’s younger brother Pedro Romero Perez was also shot but survived, according to the San Mateo County district attorney’s office. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery. As of Tuesday, he was in stable condition, authorities said.

In a GoFundMe post organized by Martinez Jimenez’s brother to help the family cover funeral expenses — including sending his remains to their hometown in Oaxaca, Mexico — Martinez Jimenez was described as a hardworking and honorable man.

“He was a good son, brother, uncle and a great friend for everyone that knew him,” Servando Martinez wrote. “He took on the father role for all of us.”

Martinez Jimenez worked at Concord Farms, the site of the second attack.

He was a volunteer at RotaCare, his brother said. The clinics provide free medical care to the needy. “He enjoyed giving back to his community,” Martinez wrote. His brother was now in heaven along with their parents, he said.

“Marciano will always live in our hearts,” he wrote.

Ana Perez, the manager at the More for Less convenience store and gas station in Half Moon Bay, knew Martinez Jimenez for more than eight years. He was quiet and kind, she said.


He frequently drove to and from Los Angeles, stopping at the gas station for a burrito and always parking his car in the same spot out back.

“He gave me mushrooms for free all the time,” she said — enough that she could share them with friends and family.

At the nearby Taqueria Tres Amigos, an employee who declined to give her name said Martinez Jimenez was closely connected to the local Oaxacan community. He loved to dance, she said, especially Danza de la Pluma, a traditional Oaxacan dance, and was a talented accordion player.

Two men, one sitting at the steering wheel of a forklift and another standing next to it.
Ye Tao Bing, left, lived and worked at California Terra Garden, where he was a production supervisor.

Ye Tao Bing was a father, husband and skilled mushroom cultivator, said a friend of the victim who spoke to The Times and wished to remain anonymous. The pair met through Bing’s wife, who first came to the United States in 2016. Bing soon followed.

After several years of working with mushrooms in New Jersey, Bing temporarily relocated to Half Moon Bay in December 2021. He lived and worked at California Terra Garden, the site of the first attack, where he was a production supervisor, his friend said.

Bing was in California most of the year, telling his friend his work schedule made traveling back to New Jersey difficult. Bing’s wife flew to California for a visit in November, the friend said.

He grew up in Shandong province in China, where he spent his young adult years working as a porter before developing a passion for mushrooms and moving to South Korea.

Bing was set to travel home to China next month to visit his father, who is battling late-stage prostate cancer, his friend said. The country’s COVID policies and the cost of airline tickets had made previous travel difficult.

Bing is survived by his wife, a 3-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son, who is a college student in California, the friend said.


“He was an honest, sincere and good-natured man,” he said. He described Bing as a man of few words but someone who always cared for others and could “eat bitter” — a Chinese term meaning endure hardships.

“We helped each other,” he said.

Shooting victims Ai Xiang Zhang and Jing Zhi Lu were married, according to Bing’s friend, and worked at the farm’s cafeteria. He would sometimes see them when he and Bing would video call each other.

Romero Perez was a respectful and hardworking person, his cousin Renato Juarez Perez wrote in a GoFundMe set up to help cover funeral expenses. Like Martinez Jimenez, Romero Perez’s remains will be transported to Mexico.

Romero Perez left his parents, wife and four children behind in Oaxaca and came to Half Moon Bay in search of work and a better life. He eventually found a job at California Terra Garden.

“Jose immigrated to this country with a great dream of working for his own family,” Renato Juarez Perez wrote. “He wanted to provide a better quality of life for all of them.”

Times staff writer Luke Money contributed to this report.