SAN Jose, California – A gunman opened fire on a Northern California light rail yard on Wednesday, killing at least eight people in the latest shooting attack that shook the nation in recent weeks.
Police spokesman Russell Davis said the gunman, an employee at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s sprawling Light Rail Center, died of his gunshot wounds, and other employees were among the victims.
The victims were identified by the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office Wednesday night, The Associated Press reported: Paul Delacruz Mejia, 42; Tabtajdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Digisos Hernandez, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rodometkin, 40; Abdul-Wahab Al-Agmandan, 63, and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
One person was in critical condition at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, spokeswoman Joy Alexio told USA TODAY.
Davis did not mention how long the gunman had been in the station, the type of weapon he used, or whether he had a firearm license. The motive was not immediately clear.
“This is still a volatile and ongoing incident,” Davis said. “We are trying to find out exactly what happened.”
Davis said that several calls to 911 came around 6:30 a.m. local time, as the officers were switching shifts. Officers responded to the VTA site, which stores trains and acts as a maintenance yard, and provided first aid, he said. The Santa Clara County Mayor’s office is located nearby.
“When the sheriffs were at the scene, they were on the scene quickly enough to hear the shots,” said Cindy Chavez, county superintendent. “They did their best and entered the campus as quickly as possible.”
Santa Clara County Mayor Laurie Smith said officers found dead victims in two campus buildings and that the suspect was still alive when lawmakers arrived. “He committed suicide when we found him,” she said, adding that the MPs did not exchange fire with the suspect.
Smith said that booby-trapped dogs alerted officers to the presence of explosives at the scene, and that a bomb squad was moving from room to room with a robot to clear buildings.
”“There are many, many ingredients that we continue to discover,” Smith said.
The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were providing assistance at the scene. Craig Ver, the FBI Special Agent, said the crime scene “was quite large” and “it was going to take some time”.
The VTA operates three light rail lines that cover more than 40 miles and operate 70 bus lines in the area. The Transport and Communications Authority said on Wednesday that light train services would be suspended for several days.
Law enforcement officials did not publicly name the suspect. However, there are two sources of law enforcement The Associated Press identified the suspect as Samuel Cassidy. Records indicate that Cassidy, 57, has obtained a license from the Auto Repair Office as a technician to repair a smog screening since 2003. He previously worked at an auto dealership in the city.
Authorities have not indicated whether Cassidy possessed a legal weapon or the type of firearm that was used in the attack. His presence on social media – if he had – is unclear, nor is his criminal record.
Around the time of the shooting, the San Jose Fire Department responded to a large fire in a structure at an address listed on Cassidy’s List. Mayor Sam Licardo ABC-7 said It appears that the gunman set fire to the work site. The fire department was unable to immediately confirm any link between the two accidents.
“This is a terrible day for our city and a tragic day for the VTA family,” said Lecardo. “Our hearts hurt families and co-workers.”
Who is the suspect in San Jose, Samuel Cassidy ?:The ex-wife details anger problems and authorities investigate whether the fires are related to the shooting
The flags were at half the staff on Wednesday afternoon, and local officials prepared For fundraising To the victims and their families. A vigil is planned for 6 pm local time on Thursday at City Hall.
“These people were heroes during COVID-19. The buses never stopped running. The VTA never stopped running. They kept working, and now we’re really calling on them to be heroes a second time – to survive like this,” Chavez said. .
Lecardo said their loved ones had gathered at a family reunion center in the nearby county administration building, where counselors provided support. Michael Hawkins came from San Jose to find his wife, Rochelle, a VTA mechanic, after receiving a phone message from her.
“I’m here only for my wife,” Hawkins said. “I hope she is well and everyone else out there will be fine.” “She just let go of her phone from running. She’s fine. She was using a coworker’s phone.”
Angel Diaz came from San Jose, California to check on his brother, Max Dominguez, after he and his sister got a call telling them to go to a family reunion center.
“I’m a little worried,” Diaz said in Spanish. He said there could be many reasons why he hadn’t heard from his brother yet. “He drives a bus, so they don’t allow them to use the phone.”
Santa Clara County is the sixth largest county in California. Wednesday’s shooting marked the second mass shooting in less than two years. In 2019, Prof. A gunman shot the Gilroy Garlic Festival In Gilroy, California, killing three and wounding 17.
Cody Bryant, a Gilroy native, was in the Santa Clara area Wednesday morning, watching the scene with fellow construction workers who had planned to install cameras on the VTA light rail project.
“It was definitely a huge shock to hear the news of the shooting this morning,” Bryant said. “I’m from Gilroy, so I handled this in order to shoot Gilroy Garlic. It’s terrible to see here honestly.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, visibly emotional, He expressed his frustration at a press conference at noon on Wednesday. He said he felt “similar” and “numb” following another mass shooting.
“It begs the damn question: What the hell is going on in the USA?” Newsom said. “We rinse and repeat elsewhere in this country.”
He called on Americans to “go beyond vulgarity and the usual rhetoric” that usually follows mass shootings, and “not to make this meaningless.”
President Joe Biden said: “We are still waiting for a lot of the details of the recent mass shooting in San Jose, but there are some things we know for sure.” He said on Twitter Wednesday. “There are at least eight families who will never be perfect again. Every soul killed by a bullet penetrates the soul of our nation. We must do more.”
There were 15 mass killings in 2021, each with at least four casualties, according to the Associated Press / USA Today / Northeastern University database. All of the cases were shootings and killed 86 people.
Three of them occurred in Indianapolis, two in California, and two in Colorado, according to the database. Six of them were in public places, not involving ongoing criminal activity such as theft or illegal drug trade.
The San Jose shooting was the worst mass workplace shooting since last month when he was armed Eight people were shot dead and then shot himself at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
“Today is about … sending love and support to everyone who came to work this morning bent on serving the public and ended up not coming home,” said Jan Cohen, chief executive officer of the South Bay business, at a news conference Wednesday. . “this is unacceptable”.
According to data compiled by The Associated Press / USA Today / Northeastern University, there have been 14 workplace shootings since 2006, prior to last month’s shooting in Indianapolis and the last shooting in San Jose.
More on filming in San Jose, California:“What the hell is wrong with us?” Asks Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“When you go to work, you should be able to come back safely,” Cohen said. “For the time being, we will make sure that as a family, we take care of each other.”
I mentioned Bacon from Arlington, Virginia. Hooke is from Edgartown, Massachusetts.
Contribution: Angelica Cabral, Salinas California; Elinor Aspgren and Crystal Hayes, USA Today; Associated Press