SAN JOSE, Calif. – A gunman opened hearth at a Northern California mild rail yard Wednesday, killing at the very least eight individuals in the newest capturing rampage to rock the nation in latest weeks.
Police spokesman Russell Davis mentioned the gunman, an worker on the sprawling Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) mild rail hub, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and different staff had been among the many victims.
The victims had been identified by the Santa Clara County coroner’s workplace Wednesday night time, reported the Associated Press: 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.
One individual was in vital situation at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, spokesperson Joy Alexiou informed USA TODAY.
Davis didn’t say how lengthy the gunman had labored on the hub, what sort of weapon he used or whether or not he had a firearm license. A motive was not instantly clear.
“This is still a fluid and ongoing incident,” Davis mentioned. “We’re trying to figure out what exactly happened.”
Davis mentioned a number of 911 calls got here in round 6:30 a.m. native time, as officers had been altering shifts. Officers responded to the VTA website, which shops trains and serves as a upkeep yard, and rendered first help, he mentioned. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is close by.
“When the sheriffs were on scene, they were on scene quickly enough to still hear gunshots,” County Supervisor Cindy Chavez mentioned. “They did their best and got on campus as quickly as they could.”
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith mentioned officers discovered deceased victims in two buildings on the campus and that the suspect was nonetheless alive when the deputies arrived. “He took his life when we found him,” she mentioned, including that the deputies by no means exchanged hearth with the suspect.
Smith mentioned bomb canines alerted officers to the presence of explosives on the scene, and a bomb squad was going from room to room with a robotic to clear the buildings.
“There are many, many components that we’re continuing to discover,” Smith mentioned.
The FBI, Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been helping on the scene. Craig Fair, the FBI particular agent in cost, mentioned the crime scene was “fairly sizable” and is “going to take a while to process.”
The VTA runs three mild rail traces masking greater than 40 miles and operates 70 bus traces in the area. Light rail providers could be down for a number of days, VTA mentioned Wednesday.
Law enforcement officers haven’t publicly named the suspect. Two legislation enforcement sources, nevertheless, identified the suspect to the Associated Press as Samuel Cassidy. Records counsel Cassidy, 57, had been licensed with the Bureau of Automotive Repair as a smog test restore technician since 2003. He beforehand labored for a automobile dealership in the town.
Authorities haven’t indicated if Cassidy was a authorized gun proprietor or what sort of firearm was used in the assault. His social media presence – if he had one – isn’t obvious, neither is his felony file.
Around the time of the capturing, the San Jose Fire Department responded to a big construction hearth at an tackle listed to Cassidy. Mayor Sam Liccardo told ABC-7 it appeared that the gunman set the hearth on his approach to the work website. The hearth division couldn’t instantly affirm any relationship between the incidents.
“This is a horrific day for our city and tragic day for the VTA family,” Liccardo mentioned. “Our heart pains for the families and the co-workers.”
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Flags had been at half-staff Wednesday afternoon, and native officers arrange a fundraiser for victims and their households. A vigil was deliberate for six p.m. native time Thursday at metropolis corridor.
“These folks were heroes during COVID-19. The buses never stopped running. The VTA didn’t stop running. They just kept at work, and now we’re really calling on them to be heroes a second time – to survive such a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Chavez mentioned.
Loved ones gathered at a household reunification middle on the close by county administration constructing, the place counselors offered assist, Liccardo mentioned. Michael Hawkins of San Jose got here to search out his spouse, Rochelle, a mechanic with the VTA, after getting a telephone message from her.
“I’m just here for my wife. I’m hoping she’s OK and whoever else is in there is OK,” Hawkins mentioned. “She dropped her telephone from operating. She’s all proper. She was utilizing a co-worker‘s phone.”
Angel Diaz of San Jose, California, came to check on his brother, Max Dominguez, after he and his sister received a call telling them to go to the family reunification center.
“I’m slightly bit apprehensive,” Diaz mentioned in Spanish. He mentioned there may very well be many the reason why he had but to listen to from his brother. “He drives a bus, so they don’t let them use the phone.”
Santa Clara County is the sixth-largest county in California. The capturing Wednesday marks its second mass capturing in lower than two years. In 2019, a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, killing three individuals and wounding 17.
Gilroy native Koedy Bryant was in the Santa Clara space Wednesday morning, observing the scene with fellow building staff who had deliberate on putting in cameras on a VTA mild rail venture.
“Definitely hearing about the shooting this morning was a big shock,” Bryant mentioned. “I’m from Gilroy, so I dealt with this for the Gilroy Garlic shooting. It’s kind of shocking to see around here honestly.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, visibly emotional, expressed frustration at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. He mentioned he felt a “sameness” and “numbness” in the wake of yet one more mass capturing.
“It begs the damn question: What the hell is going on in the United States of America?” Newsom mentioned. “We rinse and repeat someplace else in this country.”
He known as on Americans to “move beyond the platitudes and the usual rhetoric” that usually comply with a mass capturing and to “not make this meaningless.”
“We are still awaiting many of the details of this latest mass shooting in San Jose, but there are some things we know for sure,” President Joe Biden said on Twitter Wednesday. “There are at least eight families who will never be whole again. Every life taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We must do more.”
There have been 15 mass killings in 2021, every with at the very least 4 victims killed, in line with an Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University database. All instances had been shootings and claimed a complete 86 lives.
Three occurred in Indianapolis, two in California, and two in Colorado, in line with the database. Six have been in public areas, not involving ongoing felony exercise corresponding to theft or unlawful drug commerce.
San Jose’s capturing marked the worst office mass capturing since final month when a gunman(*8*)
“Today is about… sending love and support to everyone who came to work this morning intending on serving the public and ended up not going home,” Jean Cohen, govt officer of the South Bay labor council, mentioned at a information convention Wednesday. “It’s unacceptable.”
According to information compiled by The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University, there have been 14 office shootings since 2006, earlier than final month’s capturing in Indianapolis and the newest capturing in San Jose.
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“When you go to work, you should be able to go back safely,” Cohen mentioned. “Right now, we’re going to be making sure that as a family, we’re taking care of each other.”
Bacon reported from Arlington, Virginia. Hauck reported from Edgartown, Massachusetts.
Contributing: Angelica Cabral, The Salinas Californian; Elinor Aspegren and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY; The Associated Press