SAN JOSE, Calif. — A municipal transit employee opened hearth because the Wednesday morning shift was gathering for work at a San Jose rail yard, killing 9 folks within the newest of the mass shootings which have plagued the United States this 12 months.
California regulation enforcement officers recognized the gunman as Samuel James Cassidy, 57, a upkeep employee who had been with the Silicon Valley’s regional transit company for at least a decade. The authorities mentioned he appeared to have killed himself at the scene.
It was unclear how many individuals had been wounded, officers mentioned.
The gunman was an worker of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which oversees bus, rail and paratransit service for commuters, mentioned Sgt. Russell Davis, a spokesman for the county sheriff’s workplace. He didn’t determine the weapon used, or supply a doable motive, though Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose mentioned Mr. Cassidy’s co-workers had “expressed generalized concerns about his mental health.”
At the rail yard, employees mentioned, panic erupted as phrase unfold of gunfire in two buildings. While bomb squads looked for explosives there, firefighters had been responding to a blaze at Mr. Cassidy’s empty residence, about eight miles away.
Survivors of the capturing had been led to a separate constructing within the municipal advanced the place some had been reunited with relations, a scene that James Kostmayer, an area authorities worker, referred to as “heartbreaking.”
“You could hear the screams and cries of the families” from the elevator, he mentioned, including that he heard “a mother screaming, ‘My son, my son.’”
Christina Gonzalez choked again tears as she waited for information exterior the American Red Cross heart in San Jose, the place survivors and their households had been later despatched for counseling. She mentioned that her cousin Michael Rudometkin had been at a union assembly that morning and that his household had been unable to succeed in him.
She described Mr. Rudometkin as “a very good person” who had “loved his job and just always stood up for everyone’s rights.”
“I’m just waiting and hoping he’s OK,” she mentioned.
By Wednesday night, the county health worker’s workplace had launched the names of eight victims, together with Mr. Rudometkin, 40, of Santa Cruz. Also killed had been Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
Late Wednesday evening, the health worker introduced the dying of a ninth sufferer, Alex Ward Fritch, 49, who died at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
The Santa Clara County district legal professional, talking at an earlier information convention, mentioned the capturing came about after a union assembly. John A. Costa, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, mentioned in an announcement that the group’s “hearts and prayers are with our sisters, brothers, and their families” at Local 265 in San Jose.
In an announcement, the workplace and county management prolonged their “deepest condolences to the families and individuals impacted by this senseless tragedy.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose mentioned coworkers of the gunman had “expressed generalized concerns about his mental health.”Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times
Wednesday’s violence was the newest in a scourge of shootings because the coronavirus pandemic has waned within the United States, together with assaults at spas within the Atlanta space, a bloodbath at a Boulder, Colo., grocery store and a capturing at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis. A capturing on Monday claimed the lives of 4 folks close to Columbus, Ohio.
Rail Yard Shooting in San Jose
Updated May 26, 2021, 9:57 p.m. ETPeople who knew the suspect say he had a hostile persona.What we all know concerning the victims within the San Jose capturing.Gov. Gavin Newsom asks: ‘What the hell is wrong with us?’
President Biden summed up his response in a single phrase: “Enough.”
In an announcement launched by the White House, by which the president referred to as out the opposite current shootings, he mentioned: “Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America. Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more.”
California has a few of the most stringent gun legal guidelines within the nation, with greater than 100 restrictions together with background examine necessities, constraints on consumers and sellers, and “red flag” bans that allow relations and the police go to court docket to take firearms away from homeowners who’re thought of at threat of committing violence.
However, with a inhabitants of almost 40 million, California additionally has endured many mass shootings. Wednesday’s was the deadliest within the Bay Area since 1993, when eight folks and a gunman died in a high-rise in San Francisco. It additionally evoked reminiscences of the 2019 capturing at a garlic competition in close by Gilroy, by which a gunman killed three folks and wounded greater than a dozen others earlier than killing himself.
“It just seems like this happens over and over and over again — rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat,” mentioned Gov. Gavin Newsom, who met with the households of the San Jose employees.
“There’s a sameness to this and a numbness,” the governor mentioned. “All the right emotions and perhaps the right words, but it begs the damned question: What the hell is going on in the United States of America?”
Mayor Liccardo referred to as it “a horrific day for our city” and vowed to “do everything possible to make sure this never happens again.”
ImageWith a inhabitants of almost 40 million, California has endured many mass shootings regardless of strict gun laws.Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times
The capturing was first reported at 6:34 a.m. within the 100 block of W. Younger Avenue and San Pedro Street, in downtown San Jose, a metropolis of about a million folks that’s the third largest in California. The Valley Transportation Authority rail yard, used to retailer and dispatch transit automobiles, is a part of a hub for the authority’s work drive of some 2,100 staff.
Glenn Hendricks, the chairman of the authority’s board, mentioned the V.T.A. employees had been close-knit, with bonds that had been bolstered through the pandemic, when many had risked their well being conserving the general public transportation system working for a lot of Silicon Valley.
“V.T.A. is a family,” Mr. Hendricks mentioned, his voice shaking. “Everyone in the organization knows everyone.”
As a number of 911 calls got here in Wednesday morning, officers had been dispatched from the San Jose Police Department and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, which is headquartered subsequent door to the rail yard. Local hearth crews, in the meantime, raced to Mr. Cassidy’s residence within the Evergreen neighborhood of San Jose, a quiet suburban enclave populated largely by Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants.
Andy and Alice Abad mentioned they referred to as 911 after they noticed a funnel of smoke pouring out of Mr. Cassidy’s residence, a one-story grey home with white trim and a patchy garden. “The flames were above the rooftop,” Mr. Abad mentioned.
He took an image on his cellphone earlier than leaving along with his spouse to a physician’s appointment. When he returned residence at midday, the cul-de-sacs had been swarming with a number of emergency automobiles, federal brokers and a boxy blue truck from the San Jose bomb squad. Men with fuel masks and oxygen tanks stood amid the flashing lights.
Family court docket information present that Mr. Cassidy was married for 10 years to a dental assistant; the couple had no kids and broke up in 2004, citing irreconcilable variations. In 2009, he sought a restraining order towards his former girlfriend, Connie Wang.
In papers filed with household court docket, he accused her of vandalizing his roommate’s automobile, calling at late hours, hurling insults and suggesting she had him underneath surveillance. She responded at the time that he had tried to drive himself on her sexually, and that he had “major mood swings due to bipolar disorder” that had been exacerbated when he drank to extra. The court docket ordered Ms. Wang to remain at least 300 yards from him, his dad and mom and his new girlfriend for 3 years.
In an interview, Ms. Wang mentioned that she had met Mr. Cassidy on Match.com in 2008, and that he proposed after simply two months. When she refused, she mentioned, the connection “went downhill” and he turned bodily abusive.
They dated for lower than a 12 months, she mentioned, including that she had not spoken to him since shortly after their breakup, when he took her brand-new Toyota Camry, for which he had a key, with out permission and returned it a month later, broken from what he mentioned was an accident.
“He hurt me a lot,” she mentioned.
Reporting was contributed by Frances Robles, Patricia Mazzei, Nicole Perlroth, Neil Vigdor, Christine Hauser and Will Wright. Kitty Bennett and Susan C. Beachy contributed analysis.