Sam Cassidy: Gunman who killed eight colleagues at San Jose transit center knew victims well, mayor says
The gunman, an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), is dead, Davis said. He has been identified as Sam Cassidy, a police source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to CNN.
Mayor Sam Liccardo told CNN’s Jake Tapper the gunman was no stranger to the people he shot.
“It is clear that the victims and all colleagues knew the shooter well,” Liccardo said.
The victims were between 29 and 63 years old, according to the medical examiner.
They were identified by the medical examiner as Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35 years old; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63 years old; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said the victims worked together and were there in the mornings together.
Cassidy had in the past spoken angrily about her co-workers and resented her work, his ex-wife told a media outlet in northern California.
Davis said law enforcement officers did not exchange gunfire with the shooter and investigators believed he had committed suicide.
“I know for sure that when the suspect found out the law enforcement was there, he committed suicide, our deputies were there at the time,” the sheriff said. The deputies were there quickly as the sheriff’s office is right next door, she added.
Smith said San Jose MPs and police clashed with a building as the shooting continued “and I know it saved many lives.”
One injured person is in critical condition, Davis said.
Investigators are examining the shooter’s motive, he said. Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said he was not sure if there had been any red flags regarding the shooter’s intentions.
Shooter had more than one gun, prosecutor said
Police also received reports of explosive devices inside the transit building, which the bomb squad investigated, officials said.
In addition, a house that burst into flames in San Jose around the same time as the shooting is believed to be the shooter’s house, a source close to the investigation told CNN.
The shooting began just after 6:30 a.m. PT, when multiple 911 calls reported shots fired near an VTA control center, a hub that stores light rail trains and a maintenance yard, Davis said.
Several law enforcement agencies and fire department personnel responded to the incident using their “active fire protocol,” Davis said.
The shooting took place in the VTA yard – not the operations control center – as the streetcar was starting for the day, said VTA board chairman Glenn Hendricks. The yard is where ATV vehicles are serviced and shipped.
“A horrible tragedy has occurred today, and our hearts and love are with the VTA family, the organization and what they have had to go through,” said Hendricks.
Gunman would complain about his job, says ex-woman
Nelms, Cassidy’s ex-wife, told the Bay Area News Group that he “often spoke angrily about his co-workers and bosses, and sometimes directed his anger at her.”
According to the report, Nelms said that upon their marriage, Cassidy “resented what he considered unfair work assignments” and “would complain about his job when he got home.”
Nelms, joined by CNN on Facebook, did not respond to questions about Cassidy. Subsequent phone calls went unanswered.
Nelms was married to Cassidy for about 10 years until the couple filed for divorce in 2005. She has not been in contact with her ex-husband for about 13 years, according to Bay Area News.
“He just thought that some people had easier things to live with at work and that he would get the more difficult jobs,” she said, according to the outlet.
Mayor says fire was reported at suspect’s home
“This is certainly the information I have – is that there was a fire at the shooter’s home, no one was found inside the house, thank goodness,” Liccardo said .
Video filmed by a neighbor showed a house with smoke billowing as firefighters responded to the blaze. The neighbor, Duk Kyun Suh, started recording the video as soon as the fire started. In it, the firefighters seem to be just arriving at the scene.
It took firefighters about an hour to put out the dual-alarm blaze, which caused extensive damage and left the structure uninhabitable, the fire department said.
Asked about the house fire during a news briefing, Smith said the San Jose Police Department was working on this part of the investigation.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but no civilians or firefighters were injured, according to Erica Ray, spokesperson for the San Jose Fire Department.
Anxiety, fear among employees and family
Employees and their families expressed their anxiety and fear in their comments to CNN shortly after the shooting.
Michael Hawkins Sr. met at a reunification site to search for his wife, Rochelle Hawkins, a mechanic at the VTA facility. She left him a message on a colleague’s phone telling him she was fine but dropped her phone as she ran to safety, he said.
“I’m just here for my wife and I hope she’s okay and everyone else’s okay,” he said.
Billy Cantillas, who has worked in the VTA facility for 22 years, said he had just started his shift when a colleague told him there was a shooter on site, so he left the building. He didn’t hear or see anything, but said he was terrified.
“I’m scared, you know? I think about the people who were shot. It’s terrible,” he said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, after meeting with family members of VTA employees, expressed frustration at the continued gun violence in the United States and called on politicians to act.
“Here in the United States of America, we are experiencing something that we don’t feel anywhere else in the world. There is a similarity to that. And that numbness, I think it’s something that we all feel. “Newsom said. “But that begs the damn question: what’s going on in the United States of America? What’s wrong with us?”
“There are at least eight families who will never be healthy again,” he said in a written statement.
“There are children, parents and spouses who are waiting to see if someone they love will ever come home. There are union brothers and sisters – good, honest and hardworking people – who cry. theirs, ”Biden said.
Officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene.
The ATF has brought in five bomb sniffer dogs to help search for potential explosives.
The agency is also providing investigative resources to trace guns and ballistic evidence with the goal of linking them to other gun-related crimes that may be involved, said Joshua Jackson, deputy special agent in in charge of the ATF field division in San Francisco.
Liccardo, who also sits on VTA’s board, called the shoot a very dark moment for the city.
“It’s a horrible day for our city, it’s a tragic day for our VTA family,” he said. “We know that many deeply feel this loss of their loved ones and friends.”
The president of Amalgamated Transit Union International, a union that represents transit workers, said the union was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the mass shooting.
“Our hearts and prayers are with our sisters, brothers and their families in Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 265,” said President John A. Costa. “We are working to provide support and assistance to the families of the victims and to all those affected by this tragic event.”
CNN’s Sarah Moon, Josh Campbell, Steve Almasy, Dan Simon and DJ Judd contributed to this report.