SAN JOSÉ, California – Investigators into the San Jose, California massacre are trying to unravel the motive that led the suspect to shoot in the yard of a railroad service Wednesday morning. The shooting has so far left nine dead while the suspect took his own life.
This is a new shooting in a year with a sharp increase in mass murders as the country emerges from quarantines against the coronavirus.
The massacre occurred around 6:30 a.m. in two buildings that are part of a light rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), which provides bus, light rail and other services. by Santa Clara County, the most populous in the Bay Area.
“When our agents came through the door, at first he was still shooting. When our officers saw him, he took his own life, ”Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters.
THEY IDENTIFIED THE NINE VICTIMS OF THE MASSACRE
The officers went through the corridors identifying themselves as policemen, he said, and the shooter “knew at that moment that he had run out of time to shoot.”
The victims, many of them veteran transportation agency employees, were identified Wednesday night by the county coroner’s office as 49-year-old Alex Ward Fritch; Paul Delacruz Megia, 42 years old; 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.
It all started at 6:30 am and ended with a tragic toll of eight people killed. The suspect allegedly took his own life, according to authorities.
The deceased were bus and light rail operators, mechanics, laborers and an assistant superintendent. One had worked for the agency since 1999.
Singh worked as a light rail conductor for eight and nine years, leaving behind a wife, two young children and many relatives, said his cousin, Bagga Singh.
“We heard that he chose the people to shoot, but I don’t know why he chose him because it had nothing to do with him,” he said.
A gunman fired inside a building, leaving multiple people dead and injured.
San José City Councilman Raul Peralez said Rudometkin was a close friend. “There are no words to describe the pain we feel right now, especially for his family,” he wrote on Facebook. “Eight families feel the same sense of loss tonight and our entire community is also in mourning.”
The assailant was identified as Sam Cassidy, 57, according to two law enforcement officials. The investigators did not mention any possible motive for the attack at the moment and are investigating the matter, focusing on possible hypotheses.
His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told The Associate Press that Cassidy had a bad temper and sometimes told her that she wanted to kill people at work, “but I never believed her, and it never happened. Up to now”.
The authorities are looking for the suspect in the bloody event.
Through tears and shocked by the news, Nelms said her ex-husband came home angry about things happening at his job. Talking about it, he noted, “it made him more angry,” he said. “He could keep turning things around.”
When Cassidy was losing her temper, Nelms said there were times when she was scared. They were married for 10 years, he noted. Cassidy filed for divorce in 2005 and they hadn’t had contact in 13 years, Nelms said.
At least two people died from the injuries.
Police spokesman Russell Davis said he was unaware of the type of weapon used. Teams of bomb experts arrived at the scene after receiving information about possible explosive devices, he said.
The workers were at a meeting of a union representing VTA workers when the shooting began, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo said, although it was unclear if the meeting was related to the attack.
Authorities were also investigating a house fire that occurred shortly before the massacre, Davis said.
According to public records, Cassidy owned the two-story home that firefighters went to Wednesday morning.
Firefighters found a fire after a passerby tipped them off. A neighboring house also caught fire, according to authorities.
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