Community steps up support for families impacted by shooting in Half Moon Bay

The community in Half Moon Bay is stepping up in a major way, providing as much support as they can to the families impacted by Monday's mass shooting.  

Mac Dutra plaza is sort of a meeting place for some of the farm workers. They go there just to relax but on Tuesday, it became a place where the community could mourn the seven people who lost their lives.  

Residents in Half Moon Bay say it’s a quaint and quiet farming community and what happened here on Monday has left them all in total disbelief. 

"We don’t bug anybody. We just come together. We’re a very tight community. We like each other. It doesn’t happen here," said Roberta Gelt, who has lived in Half Moon Bay for 40 years. 

"Who’s going to think about farm workers being the victims of a mass shooting? We don’t know the motives behind it, but the whole city of Half Moon Bay, we are hurt. We are grieving the loss of our family members," said Joaquin Jimenez, Half Moon Bay's vice mayor.    

Investigators say the deadly shooting that left seven people dead is a case of workplace violence. It was also one of three mass shootings in California in a three-day span. Now people say they want to focus on doing everything they can to support the families who’ve been impacted.  

"People are just…whether its money, or their time or both, everyone is jumping in and really making this a strong community," said RJ Jennings, with Coast side Families Taking Action. 

"We are one family of hundreds of families in this community that are outraged and want to dig deeper to understand the grief that’s happening in our farm worker community," said Stacy McCarthy, from Coast side Families Taking Action.  

McCarthy says they all hope to figure out what’s behind the tragic shooting but in the meantime, helping the families is their priority.  

"This is a soup, there’s a protein drink. There are snacks," McCarthy said as the group packed donation bags at San Benito's on Main Street.  

SEE ALSO: Half Moon Bay shooting: 'All evidence points to workplace violence'

The farm workers and families who worked and lived where the shooting happened, have been taken to hotels while the investigation continues. Joaquin Jimenez is Half Moon Bay’s Vice Mayor and farm worker Program Director for advocacy group ALAS.  

"We never saw or noticed any stress between anybody. We never heard about anybody being angry with somebody else. We never saw a reason for somebody to do this," Jimenez said.   

For anyone who wants to donate money, food, or clothing, you can contact ALAS in Half Moon Bay. The San Jose Women's Club will also collect donations Wednesday, January 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.