On Monday, January 23, 2023, a 67-year-old male went to a mushroom farm in Half Moon Bay, California, and shot five farmworkers. Four of the victims died on the scene and one survivor was transported to Stanford Medical Center after sustaining life-threatening injuries. A short while later, it was discovered that the mass shooter had also gone to another nearby mushroom farm, where he shot and killed three others.
The suspect was located around two-and-half hours after the first set of victims was found. He was in his vehicle in a sheriff’s office substation parking lot, apparently to turn himself in, and was taken into custody without incident. The semi-automatic handgun believed to be used in the mass shootings was in his vehicle as well.
While a motive is not yet known, these incidents are thought to be a case of workplace violence since the suspect worked at the first farm and is believed to have some type of work-related relationship with the victims at the second.
Workplace Violence by the Numbers
In 2020, 392 workers in the U.S. died as a result of workplace violence according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Another 20,050 were injured, with more than one in five of these victims requiring more than a month away from work for recovery.
Data collected in a joint study on workplace violence adds that, while work-related homicides had experienced an overall decline between 1994 and 2019, they have increased by 11% in the last five years of the study. This highlights an alarming trend.
Are You Prepared Should Violence Hit Your Workplace?
The question that is important to ask yourself is whether you are prepared should you be confronted with violence while at work. Do you know what steps to take to increase your chances of survival? Perhaps more importantly, are you aware of the signs that suggest that someone is planning to carry out a violent attack at your workplace—potentially providing an opportunity to stop the event before it occurs?
These are all topics covered in the A.L.I.VE. Active Shooter Survival Training program. We offer several California-based active shooter training locations, in addition to providing training options in other states as well as having courses available online. Take this course—or any other survival course—now so you know exactly what to do if ever in this type of situation. What you learn can help save your life, and the lives of your co-workers and friends.