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San Jose Shooting Updates: Shooter had talked of workplace attacks

Samuel Cassidy's ex-wife says even more than a decade ago, he was often resentful of his work
Credit: AP
Police officers respond near the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara County sheriff's spokesman said the railyard shooting left multiple people, including the shooter, dead. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Update: 7 a.m. 

An employee who gunned down eight people at a California rail yard and then killed himself as law enforcement rushed in had talked about killing people at work. The ex-wife of Samuel Cassidy says even more than a decade ago, he was often resentful of his work. Authorities say Cassidy opened fire Wednesday at a light rail facility in San Jose.

Update: 11:30 p.m.

Police remained in the neighborhood where suspected gunman Samuel Cassidy lived Wednesday night. Officers are going through Cassidy's home which San Jose city officials say he lit on fire just before leaving and going to the VTA railyard, where he allegedly gunned down eight people before turning the gun on himself. 

A neighbor's home camera captured Cassidy, dressed in his work uniform, getting into his truck before the massacre he is suspected of causing.

Doug Suh lives across the street from the suspect. He says his neighbor kept to himself and wasn't friendly.

"He looked strange," said Suh. "He looked strange."

Authorities say Cassidy was a "substation maintainer" with the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). 

Police have not released any motive or what officers found inside the home.

Update 7:45 p.m.

The eight people killed in a mass shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail facility have been identified, according to reporting by Bay Area affiliate ABC7. 

Family has identified 36-year-old Taptejdeep Singh as one of the victims and San Jose councilmember Raul Peralez identified Michael Rudometikin as a second victim. Rudometikin was a longtime friend of the councilman.

ABC7 reports the Santa Clara County Coroner has identified the following people as the remaining victims of the mass shooting:

  • Paul Delacruz Megia, 42
  • Adrian Balleza, 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35
  • Timothy Romo, 49
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63
  • Lars Lane, age 63

Update 6 p.m.

A photo of the suspected shooter in the incident at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail facility has been obtained.

The suspect has been identified by two law enforcement officials as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, a VTA employee listed as a “substation maintainer” in an employee profile.

In a press release sent out by VTA Public Information Officer Stacy Hendler Ross, Cassidy’s body was found near the Guadalupe Yard where the attack took place. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office confirmed no deputies engaged Cassidy and that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Ross said that bomb squads are still securing all VTA facilities at this time, including three bus yards and the VTA headquarters.

Law enforcement officials said earlier that the sweeps were prompted when a bomb-sniffing dog alerted deputies to the presence of “explosive materials.” Authorities have not identified what those materials were or how many they have found.

Credit: Valley Transportation Authority

Update 4:30 p.m.

A vigil is planned at the San Jose City Hall at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, for the victims of the mass shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail facility.

The President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors also announced that a fund has been established for victims at Working Partnerships USA. Tap here if you would like to donate to the fund.

So far, investigators have offered no immediate word on a possible motive for the shooting.

Eight VTA employees were killed in the shooting and an unknown number of other employees were injured. The only other confirmed injury authorities identified was a man, who officials said was in critical condition at the hospital.

The Governor's Office has lowered the state flags at the Capitol to half-staff to honor the victims. 

Update 3:20 p.m.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney held a press conference at the Family Assistance Center in San Jose.

The Center is focused on helping the victims & those affected by the tragic mass shooting at the VTA Light Rail Yard.

"Today the DAs office is focused on healing and helping and trying our very best to make sure we never have to open another victims' healing center for mass shooting victims," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.

Rosen mentioned that they have not released the names of the victims because they have not been able to reach all of the family members to let them know, but he said that "there are many." He wants to make sure they get the information "100% right."

"I understand how hard this is for family members that want to know about their loved one. As soon as we have that information we will provide it for family members," Rosen said. "When loved ones said goodbye this morning, they didn’t mean goodbye forever, they meant goodbye until dinner time. I’m just so sorry."

Update 3 p.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom arrived in San Jose Wednesday and spoke with the families of the victims of the mass shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail facility.

At a 1:30 p.m. press update, Newsom showed his exasperation with mass shootings in America and what he called the “numbness” that people have to the “sameness of this happening in anywhere USA.”

“What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us?” Newsom said. “And when are we going to come to grips with this and put down our arms – literally and figuratively – our politics, the stale rhetoric, finger-pointing, all the handwringing consternation that produces nothing but more fury and frustration and more scenes like this that get repeated over and over and over again.”

Newsom, along with law enforcement officials and city leaders praised the efforts of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in responding to the shooting.

According to Deputy Russell Davis, the sheriff’s office was undergoing a shift change at the time the shooting occurred, with deputies springing into action immediately. The county’s active shooter protocol was activated, which in turn brought on the cooperation of several neighboring agencies including those at the local, state, and federal levels.

Davis said 40 VTA employees were in the building at the time the shooting started, and he praised the quick efforts of deputies in preventing a bigger tragedy.

He also confirmed that the suspected shooter, 57-year-old Samuel James Cassidy, took his own life.

Update 12:30 p.m.

The suspected gunman who opened fire at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail facility in San Jose, Wednesday morning, has been identified as 57-year-old Samuel James Cassidy, according to reporting by Bay Area affiliate ABC7.

ABC7 also reports that Cassidy reportedly set fire to his home on Angmar Court before the shooting. When firefighters arrived on scene, no one was inside the home.

Cassidy is believed to be an employee of the VTA.

In addition to the eight people killed, Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Russell Davis said the attack also resulted in “multiple major injuries.”

The shooting took place at a transit control center that stores trains and has a maintenance yard.

The VTA provides bus, light rail, and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the largest county in the Bay Area.

Update 11 a.m.

Law enforcement officials confirm nine people are dead, including the shooter, following a mass shooting incident at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail facility in San Jose, Wednesday morning.

Officials made public some of the details of the shooting at a press conference at 10:30 a.m.

According to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis, the first call of shots fire at the facility, located at 101 W. Younger Ave., went out at 6:34 a.m.

All eight victims and the shooter are confirmed to be VTA employees. The sheriff’s office also said that bomb dogs alerted law enforcement to explosive devices inside the building, however, they said there is no threat to the public at large.

Officials did not say how many other people were injured in the shooting but did say that there are “multiple victims” and that those range from the deceased to others who have suffered “major injuries.”

The FBI has been called in to assist with evidence collection and victim services.

Another press conference has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre commented on then shooting at a press briefing Wednesday morning:

“The White House is monitoring the situation and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. I know local officials have addressed this publicly, and there is an ongoing investigation as we all know. We will continue to stay in close contact with them and offer any assistance, as needed. We still don’t know all the details but what’s clear, as the President has said, is that we are suffering from an epidemic of gun violence in this country – both in mass shootings and in the lives that are being taken daily in gun violence that doesn’t make national headlines. That’s why [President Biden] has taken an initial set of actions on gun violence that will save lives. And that’s why he is calling on Congress to take action, including calling on the Senate to pass the three bills to strengthen background checks that have already cleared the House with bipartisan support, and which have then overwhelming backing of the American people.”

Original:

Gunfire erupted at a railyard in San Jose, and authorities say multiple people were killed and wounded.

ABC7 in the Bay Area is reporting that nine total people, eight victims and the shooter, are dead. Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Russell Davis could not describe how the shooter died. 

The shooting took place around 6:30 a.m. at a light rail facility next door to the sheriff’s department and across a freeway from the airport. The facility is a transit control center that stores trains and has a maintenance yard.

Davis said he did not know the type of weapon used or whether the shooting happened indoors or outdoors. He said the victims include Valley Transportation Authority employees. The VTA provides bus, light rail and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the largest in the Bay Area and home to Silicon Valley.

“A horrible tragedy has happened today, and our thoughts and love go out to the VTA family,” VTA Chairman Glenn Hendricks told a news conference.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet that his office was “in close contact with local law enforcement and monitoring this situation closely.”

Special agents from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding to the crime scene, officials said.

The next press conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. PST to provide the latest updates. 

Read more from ABC10

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