SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A multi-weapon agent opened fire in a mass shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail facility in San Jose on Wednesday morning. Eight victims were killed and several other workers were injured.
The Santa Clara County coroner office announced the names of the eight workers murdered on Wednesday night. You are:
- Paul Delacruz Megia, 42 years
- Taptejdeep Singh, 36 years
- Adrian Balleza, 29 years
- Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35 years
- Timothy Michael Romo, 49 years
- Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40 years
- Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63 years
- Lars Kepler Lane, 63 years
Authorities identified the attacker as a 57-year-old VTA worker and San Jose resident Samuel Cassidy, who also died at the scene of the Guadalupe train station on W. Younger Avenue.
According to the authorities, filming began early Wednesday morning around 6:30 a.m. The incident occurred in two buildings of the VTA system.
Police officers and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputies responded in effect after receiving multiple 911 calls from an active rifleman at the city train station. The location is adjacent to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and one block from the San Jose Civic Center and County Offices.
Authorities said about 75 to 80 people were at the facility when the shooting started, exactly at the time the shift change was planned for VTA workers.
At an afternoon press conference, Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen refused to pronounce Cassidy’s name.
“I will not confirm this,” he replied when reporters asked him to confirm the gunman’s name. “I feel like I’ve seen it in so many places that you have confirmed it. Part of why I’m only affirming it is that I no longer want to advertise the person who did this by saying the person’s name. Because I don’t want to give credit to someone like this anymore. “
When asked about the murder weapons, he said, “There were several weapons, but no ghost weapon.”
Santa Clara County’s Sheriff’s spokesman, Deputy Russell Davis, said during an afternoon press conference that Cassidy took suicide when officers got closer.
“I can tell you that the MPs did not exchange shots, and now we are tentatively assuming it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the suspect,” said Davis.
There was no immediate word about a possible motive.
The investigation was complicated after a bomb-sniffing dog discovered possible explosives at the construction site. Authorities have spent the whole day combing the VTA facility to make sure there are no explosive devices on the site.
“We received information that there were explosive devices in the building,” said Davis. “Apart from that, we activated our bomb squad that is currently on site. We try to clear pretty much every room and crevice in this building to ensure public safety. “
VTA stopped rail traffic at noon when the search continued by the bomb squad. The officials did not know when public transport would be restored.
“These people were heroes during COVID-19. The buses never stopped driving, VTA never stopped driving. They just kept working, and now we are really asking them to be heroes a second time in order to survive such a terrible, terrible tragedy, ”said Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara District Director.
Cassidy was listed as the owner of a house 13 miles away that caught fire around the same time as the shooting. After the fire was extinguished, police vehicles and a bomb squad were seen gathered in the house on the 1100 block of Angmar Ct. in the Ramblewood neighborhood of South San Jose.
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Governor Gavin Newsom also spoke at the 1:30 p.m. update of the media, praising the police officers who responded to the scene.
“You will learn in the next few days and weeks about the heroism of the San Jose police who saved lives. The deputy sheriffs who, literally seconds later, seconds after learning of this incident, were running with no regard for their own lives and doing an extraordinary job of saving other people’s lives, “Newsom said.
The governor also spoke about the difficulty of dealing with another mass shooting.
“I can imagine some of us feeling numb about this. Because that’s an equality; All over the US this feels like this is happening over and over again. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat, ”said Newsom. “It wasn’t long ago that I stood out here talking about the tragic loss of two children, one in the arms of a mother at the Gilroy Festival, here in this church.”
He mentioned other mass shooting incidents in San Bernardino and Santa Barbara when he went on, “Choose a state. And here we are in the United States of America, where we are experiencing something that is not seen anywhere else in the world. That’s an equality, and I think numbness is something we all feel … It begs the fucking question, what the hell is going on in the United States of America. What the hell is wrong with us? And when will we deal with it? “
Newsom also praised the heroism and bravery of the victim families he met and spoke with before speaking to the press. He concluded by saying that the Mayor of San Jose and the county could count on the state’s support.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo thanked the governor and announced that there would be a vigil for the victims of the shooting at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening. The vigil takes place at San Jose City Hall Plaza. Liccardo and members of the San Jose City Council, as well as representatives from the county and the VTA, will be in attendance.
President Joe Biden made a statement at around 2:00 pm on Wednesday calling the shooting a “terrible tragedy” and urging Congress to take action as the shooting was just one of many over the past month.
“I have a solemn duty to order again, just weeks after the mass shootings at spas in and around Atlanta, to lower the flag to half the staff. at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado; in a house in Rock Hill, South Carolina; and at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, ”said Biden. “Enough.”
Representatives from Santa Clara County and VTA
Authorities said a total of nine people, including the gunman, died. At least two male patients were taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose.
“The San Jose Valley Medical Center used to admit two patients – one died on arrival and the other is in critical condition,” said Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Joy Alexiou. “We are not expecting any other patients.”
Raw Video: Scene of the mass shooting at the San Jose VTA Light Rail Facility
“A terrible tragedy happened today,” said a visibly shaken VTA CEO Glenn Hendricks. “Our thoughts and our love go to the VTA family, the organization and what they went through.
Hendricks said the shooting took place at the train station rather than the control center, adding that VTA service would cease on Wednesday afternoon and bus bridges would replace light rail trains.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith thanked the San Jose Police Department for being there when officers entered the building during the fatal incident when the shooter was still firing a gun.
“We estimate [that] San Jose PD was with us and went straight into the building, ”said Smith. “Our teams showed exemplary behavior – which they are trained to do – when shots were still being fired. Our teams with San Jose PD entered the building while the shooting was still going on. We tried to save; It’s uncertain where that is right now. “
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“This is a terrible day for our city and a tragic day for the VTA family,” Liccardo said earlier. “Our hearts ache for family and employees because we know that so many feel this loss of loved ones and friends deeply. Now is the time for us to rally and understand what happened to grieve and to help those who suffered to heal. “
“We are in a very dark moment,” added Liccardo.
A tweet from the ATU Local 265 Transit Union after the word of the shooting had the simple message “Pray”. The union represents VTA workers and there have been unconfirmed reports that the shooting took place at the morning union meeting.
– atu_local_ 265 (@ 265Atu) May 26, 2021
John A. Costa, President of Amalgamated Transit Union International, issued the following statement:
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the numerous deaths and injuries in a shooting today in a VTA railway facility in San Jose. Our hearts and prayers go with our sisters, brothers and their families at Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265 in San Jose. We are working to support and support the families of the victims and all those affected by this tragic event. “
Road closures were in effect on Younger Ave in both directions from 1st St. to the VTA system. San Pedro St. was both directions from Younger Ave. closed until Hedding St.
A reunification center for family members of VTA staff with on-site grief counselors has been established in the County Building at 70 W. Hedding Street. A number where family members can request information was also given: 408-299-2311.
Our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the victims and our communities during this tragic incident. Thank you to all the brave and courageous first responders.
– Anthony Mata (@SJPDChief_Mata) May 26, 2021
President Biden’s full statement on the San Jose mass shootings:
“Vice President Harris and I were briefed on the terrible tragedy that occurred in San Jose this morning when a lone gunman killed at least eight people and wounded several others in a county train station.
We’re still waiting for many details of this latest mass shooting, but there are some things that we know for sure. There are at least eight families that will never be whole again. There are children, parents, and spouses waiting to hear if someone they love will ever come home. There are union brothers and sisters – good, honest, hardworking people – who mourn their own.
I have a solemn duty to order again, just weeks after the mass shootings at spas in and around Atlanta, to lower the flag to half the staff. at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado; at a house in Rock Hill, South Carolina; and at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.
I again urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call by the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.
Any life struck by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can and must do more.
God bless everyone whose life is lost today and everyone who loved them. “