Latest updates Thursday: Ninth victim dies after railyard shooting in San Jose; gunman was long-time rail employee
SAN JOSE, Calif.– A gunman opened fireplace at a Northern California gentle rail yard Wednesday, killing a minimum of 9 folks in the newest taking pictures rampage to rock the nation in current weeks.
Mayor Sam Liccardo stated Thursday a ninth individual had died.
“Now, all we can do is what we must: support our families and coworkers in pain, and assist their journey to healing,” Liccardo tweeted.
The gunman, an worker on the sprawling Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) gentle rail hub, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and different workers had been among the many victims, police spokesman Russell Davis stated Wednesday.
The preliminary eight victims had been recognized by the Santa Clara County coroner’s workplace Wednesday evening: 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.
Davis did no say what sort of weapon the suspect 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 stated. “We’re trying to figure out what exactly happened.”
Law enforcement officers haven’t publicly named the suspect. Two regulation enforcement sources, nonetheless, (*9*). Records counsel Cassidy, 57, had been licensed with the Bureau of Automotive Repair as a smog verify restore technician since 2003. He beforehand labored for a automotive dealership in town.
Around the time of the taking pictures, the San Jose Fire Department responded to a big construction fireplace at an handle listed to Cassidy. Liccardo told ABC-7 it appeared that the gunman set the hearth on his method to the work web site. The fireplace division couldn’t instantly verify any relationship between the incidents.
“This is a horrific day for our city and tragic day for the VTA family,” Liccardo stated. “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 stated.
Raul Peralez, a San Jose City Council member, stated on Facebook Wednesday evening that one of many victims, Rudometkin, was a “long time great friend” he is identified since center college.
“There are no words to describe the heartache we are feeling right now, especially for his family,” he wrote on Facebook, commemorating the VTA employee. “Eight families are feeling this same sense of loss tonight and our entire community is mourning as well.”
Another sufferer, Romo, was planning a trip along with his spouse to go to their son, his neighbor Keith Baldwin advised the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I was hoping to see him walking through here,” Baldwin advised the Chronicle.
Singh had labored as a lightweight rail practice driver for eight or 9 years and had a spouse, two young children and plenty of relations, stated his cousin, Bagga Singh, to the Associated Press.
“We heard that he selected the folks to shoot, however I don’t know why they select him as a result of he has nothing to do with him,” Bagga Singh told AP. He said he was told that the gunman targeted certain people and let others go.
Pictures posted to Twitter confirmed there have been already flowers and memorials in entrance of San Jose City Hall Wednesday evening.
Davis said several 911 calls came in around 6:30 a.m. local time, as officers were changing shifts. Officers responded to the VTA site, which stores trains and serves as a maintenance yard, and rendered first aid, he said. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is nearby.
“When the sheriffs had been on scene, they had been on scene shortly sufficient to nonetheless hear gunshots,” County Supervisor Cindy Chavez said. “They did their finest and received on campus as shortly as they may.”
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said officers found deceased victims in two buildings on the campus and that the suspect was still alive when the deputies arrived. “He took his life after we discovered him,” she said, adding that the deputies never exchanged fire with the suspect.
Smith said bomb dogs alerted officers to the presence of explosives on the scene, and a bomb squad was going from room to room with a robot to clear the buildings.
“There are many, many elements that we’re persevering with to find,” Smith said.
Santa Clara County is the sixth-largest county in California, and its county seat of San Jose is the most populous city in Northern California. The shooting Wednesday marks Santa Clara County’s second mass shooting in less than two years. In 2019, a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, killing three people and wounding 17.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, visibly emotional, expressed frustration at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. He stated he felt a “sameness” and “numbness” in the wake of yet another mass shooting.
“It begs the rattling query: What the hell is happening in the United States of America?” Newsom said. “We rinse and repeat someplace else in this nation.”
He called on Americans to “transfer past the platitudes and the same old rhetoric” that typically follow a mass shooting and to “not make this meaningless.”
“We are nonetheless awaiting lots of the particulars of this newest mass taking pictures in San Jose, however there are some issues we all know for positive,” President Joe Biden said on Twitter Wednesday. “There are a minimum of eight households who won’t ever be complete once more. Every life taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We should do extra.”
There have been 15 mass killings in 2021, each with at least four victims killed, according to an Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University database. All cases were shootings and claimed a total 86 lives.
Three happened in Indianapolis, two in California, and two in Colorado, according to the database. Six have been in public locations, not involving ongoing criminal activity such as robbery or illegal drug trade.
San Jose’s taking pictures marked the worst office mass taking pictures since final month when a gunman fatally shot eight people and then shot himself at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
“Today is about… sending love and assist to everybody who got here to work this morning intending on serving the general public and ended up not going dwelling,” Jean Cohen, executive officer of the South Bay labor council, said at a news conference Wednesday. “It’s unacceptable.”
According to data compiled by The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University, there have been 14 workplace shootings since 2006, before last month’s shooting in Indianapolis and the latest shooting in San Jose.
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“When you go to work, it is best to be capable to return safely,” Cohen said. “Right now, we’ll be ensuring that as a household, we’re taking good care of one another.”
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