At least seven people have been killed in a new shooting in California, this time in the community of Half Moon Bay south of San Francisco.

In the city of Yakima, Washington, three people have been killed.

Shocked residents of Half Moon Bay at the site of one of the two shootings in the community.
Shocked residents of Half Moon Bay at the site of one of the two shootings in the community.

According to the police, there was a man who killed the three people at a convenience store, in what appears to be an unprovoked attack.

"It seems to have been a random situation," says Chief Matthew Murray.

"The first shooting was inside the store. Then he went out and shot a victim outside the store and then went across the street and apparently shot another person."

The suspect then left with a stolen car.

Yakima is located 160 km southeast of Seattle and has about 100,000 inhabitants.

Biden wants a ban

After a bloody start of the year, President Joe Biden is now calling for a ban on certain automatic weapons.

"We know that the problem of gun violence in the United States requires stronger measures. Once again, I urge both chambers of Congress to act quickly and deliver an assault weapons ban on my desk, and take action to protect American communities, schools, workplaces and homes," the president said in a statement.

A law that banned automatic weapons expired in 2004. Since then, the US Congress has repeatedly failed to renew it – despite the fact that hundreds of Americans are injured and killed annually in mass shootings. New federal legislation would raise the age limit for purchasing assault weapons - often defined in the US as semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines - from 18 to 21.

"Dissatisfied employee"

On Monday there was also a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California. The perpetrator first killed four people on one farm and then three people on another farm in the community. Another person was seriously injured.

According to the authorities, the suspect, a 67-year-old man, has been arrested and reportedly worked at one of the crime scenes and is described as an "unsatisfied employee."

The link between the two crime scenes is still unclear, but a number of those involved, including the shooter, are reported to have Asian origin.

It strengthens the parallels with the weekend tragedy further south, when eleven people were killed by a lone perpetrator during a Chinese New Year's celebration in the Los Angeles area.

Tragedy after Tragedy

The shooting in Half Moon Bay took place less than two days after a 72-year-old man gunned down a larger number of people, eleven of whom lost their lives, at a dance studio in Monterey Park near Los Angeles. There, too, the perpetrator struck at his former workplace.

The 72-year-old took his own life when the police surrounded him.

California Governor Gavin Newsom writes on Twitter that he was in the hospital to greet survivors of the mass murder in the dance studio when he learned about the death in Half Moon Bay.

"Tragedy on Tragedy," tweets the governor.

Facts: The deadliest mass shootings in the USA

November 2017: Las Vegas - 60 dead

A gunman killed 60 people when he open fired from a hotel window on Las Vegas' main drag. He then took his own life. More than 400 were injured.

July 2016: Orlando – 49 dead

A 29-year-old man open fired inside the gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. 49 people were killed and over 50 injured. The perpetrator then took his own life. The event is classified as a terrorist attack, because the perpetrator sympathized with the terrorist organization ISIS.

April 2007: Virginia – 32 dead

A 23-year-old man gunned down 32 students and teachers at a university in Virginia before taking his own life. Another 23 people were injured.

December 2012: Sandy Hook – 27 Dead

A 20-year-old man gunned 26 people at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut. Twenty of them were children under seven years of age. Before that, he also shot his own mother to death. When the police arrived at school, the man took his own life.

November 2017: Sutherland Springs – 26 Dead

A 26-year-old man open fired inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. 26 people are killed, including an unborn child. 22 people were injured. The perpetrator took his own life in the process.