Authorities Identify 8 Victims Of Mass Shooting At San Jose Railyard

Written by on May 27, 2021

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — An worker opened hearth Wednesday at a California rail yard, killing eight individuals earlier than taking his personal life as regulation enforcement rushed in, authorities mentioned, marking the newest assault in a 12 months that has seen a pointy improve in mass killings because the nation emerges from coronavirus restrictions.

The capturing befell round 6:30 a.m. in two buildings at a light-weight rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority, which gives bus, mild rail and different transit companies all through Santa Clara County, probably the most populated county within the San Francisco Bay Space.

“When our deputies went by way of the door, initially he was nonetheless firing rounds. When our deputy noticed him, he took his life,” Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith informed reporters. Deputies “had been going by way of hallways saying, ‘Sheriff’s workplace!’ He knew at the moment that his time for firing pictures was over.”

The victims, lots of them longtime workers of the transit company, had been recognized by the Santa Clara County coroner’s workplace Wednesday night time as Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63, and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.

Their jobs included bus and lightweight rail operators, mechanics, linemen and assistant superintendent. One had labored for the transit authority since 1999.

Singh had labored as a light-weight rail practice driver for eight or 9 years and had a spouse, two babies and plenty of members of the family, mentioned his cousin, Bagga Singh.

“We heard that he selected the individuals to shoot, however I don’t know why they select him as a result of he has nothing to do with him,” he mentioned. He mentioned he was informed that the gunman focused sure individuals and let others go.

San Jose Metropolis Councilman Raul Peralez mentioned Rudometkin was a detailed good friend. “There aren’t any phrases to explain the heartache we’re feeling proper now, particularly for his household,” he wrote on Fb. “Eight households are feeling this similar sense of loss tonight and our whole group is mourning as nicely.”

The attacker was recognized as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, in response to two regulation enforcement officers. Investigators supplied no quick phrase on a doable motive.

His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, informed The Related Press that Cassidy had a foul mood and would inform her that he wished to kill individuals at work, “however I by no means believed him, and it by no means occurred. Till now.”

Nelms, teary-eyed and shaken by the information, mentioned her ex-husband would come dwelling wound up and indignant about issues that occurred at work. As he talked about it, “he would get extra mad,” she mentioned. “He might dwell on issues.”

When Cassidy misplaced his mood, Nelms mentioned there have been instances she was scared. He was somebody who might bodily damage others, she mentioned.

Nelms mentioned they had been married for 10 years — Cassidy filed for divorce in 2005 — and had not been in touch for 13 years. She mentioned he had been handled for melancholy.

Members of a union representing Valley Transportation Authority staff had been assembly when the capturing started, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo mentioned, but it surely’s not clear the assembly was associated to the assault.

When she heard pictures, transit authority mechanic Rochelle Hawkins mentioned she dropped her telephone.

“I used to be working so quick. I simply ran for my life,” she mentioned. “I’d hope everybody would simply pray for the VTA household. Simply pray for us.”

Different family and friends members awaited information after being unable to achieve their family members by way of calls or textual content messages. Some had tracked the lacking individual’s cellphone to the rail yard however had no info from authorities.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Russell Davis mentioned he didn’t know the kind of weapon used within the assault.

As bomb squads searched the rail complicated, officers had been additionally investigating a home hearth that broke out shortly earlier than the capturing, Davis mentioned. Public information present Cassidy owned the two-story dwelling the place firefighters responded after being notified by a passer-by. Regulation enforcement officers cordoned off the world close to the house and went out and in Wednesday.

Doug Suh, who lives throughout the road, informed The Mercury Information in San Jose that Cassidy appeared “unusual” and that he by no means noticed anybody go to.

“I’d say hiya, and he’d simply take a look at me with out saying something,” Suh mentioned. As soon as, Cassidy yelled at him to remain away as he was backing up his automobile. “After that, I by no means talked to him once more.”

Cassidy had labored for Valley Transportation Authority since at the least 2012, in response to the general public payroll and pension database Clear California, first as a mechanic from 2012 to 2014, then as somebody who maintained substations.

A man cries while sitting on the sidewalk near the scene of a mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority's (VTA) li

A person cries whereas sitting on the sidewalk close to the scene of a mass capturing on the Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) light-rail facility in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, talking emotionally in entrance of a county workplace the place flags flew at half-staff, mentioned victims’ family members had been “ready to listen to from the coroner, ready to listen to from any of us, simply determined to search out out if their brother, their son, their dad, their mother remains to be alive.”

“It begs the rattling query, ‘What the hell is occurring in the USA of America?’”

One other man wounded within the assault was in crucial situation at Santa Clara Valley Medical Heart, spokesperson Pleasure Alexiou mentioned.

The bloodshed comes amid an increase in mass killings after the pandemic had closed many public locations and saved individuals confined to their houses final 12 months.

A database compiled by The Related Press, USA Immediately and Northeastern College that tracks each mass killing over the past 15 years exhibits that the San Jose assault is the 15th mass killing up to now in 2021, all of them shootings.

Eighty-six individuals have died within the shootings, in contrast with 106 for all of 2020. The database defines mass killings as 4 or extra individuals lifeless, not together with the shooter, that means the general toll of gun violence is far larger when including in smaller incidents.

On the White Home, President Joe Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff and urged Congress to behave on laws to curb gun violence.

“Each life that’s taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We are able to, and we should, do extra,” Biden mentioned in a press release.

San Jose, the 10th-largest metropolis within the U.S. with greater than 1,000,000 individuals, is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of San Francisco within the coronary heart of Silicon Valley.

Trains had been already out on morning runs when the capturing occurred. Mild rail service was suspended and changed with bus bridges.

Wednesday’s assault was Santa Clara County’s second mass capturing in lower than two years. A gunman killed three individuals after which himself at a well-liked garlic competition in Gilroy in July 2019.

The Gilroy assault was on Mayor Liccardo’s thoughts Wednesday as textual content messages flooded in, reporting the capturing and hearth.

“Not once more,” he thought as he jumped in his automobile and raced to Metropolis Corridor. Transit authority staff informed him they knew Cassidy.

“You attempt to perceive what would possess somebody to try this a lot hurt,” Liccardo mentioned by telephone. “It’s unfathomable.”

Related Press writers Janie Har in San Francisco, John Antczak and Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, and Michael Balsamo and Colleen Lengthy in Washington contributed to this report.

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