9th victim dies in mass shooting in San Jose

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The Guardian

San Jose shooting: nine dead, including one gunman, after attack at California railroad yard

Police said the gunman was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which operates The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail facility where the shooting took place. Photograph: Philip Pacheco / Getty Images A shooting that erupted in the early hours of Wednesday morning at a streetcar maintenance yard in San Jose, Calif., Has left at least nine dead, including the gunman. Local leaders have called the violence a “terrible, terrible” tragedy as authorities search for a motive. Authorities reported on Wednesday that around 40 people were at the premises at the time the shootings took place and gunfire broke out in two separate buildings. Police said the gunman was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which operates the light rail facility in Silicon Valley. The shooting began around 6:30 a.m. local time at a facility that stores trains and serves as a transit control center, and the victims include workers from the facility. In addition to the nine dead, one victim is in critical condition at a local hospital. “These people were heroes during Covid-19. The buses never stopped working, VTA didn’t stop working, ”said Cindy Chavez, a supervisor from Santa Clara County. “They just kept working, and now we really call them to be heroes a second time to survive such a terrible and terrible tragedy.” VTA workers cross West Hedding Street near the site of a mass shooting in San Jose. Photograph: Randy Vazquez / AP Plans were underway for a vigil at San Jose town hall on Thursday night. “These are the women and men who have supported our community during this pandemic,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a press briefing. “They showed up to work every day as essential workers, despite the risks to their own health. We owe them a lot to them and their families… For now, we need to focus on what we can do to support these families and their loved ones. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who canceled another event to rush to the scene, described gun violence in the United States as an epidemic. “It happens over and over again – rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat,” he says. “This raises the question of what is going on in America?” Newsom spoke emotionally outside a county office where half-staffed flags were fluttering. He said the relatives of the victims “were waiting to hear from the coroner, waiting to hear from us, desperately desperate to know if their brother, their son, their father, their mother are still alive.” Two people kiss on Younger Avenue outside of a shooting scene in San Jose. Photograph: Randy Vazquez / AP Kamala Harris, the vice president and former senator from California, and Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, also lamented the violence. “Transit workers have ensured the safety of the traveling public this year – we need to do the same for them,” Buttigeig said in a statement. Meanwhile, dozens of family members have flocked to a reunification center housed in a county building. “They’re just sitting and holding hands and crying,” said Jeff Rosen, the Santa Clara County District Attorney, describing the scene. “It’s terrible. It’s awful. It’s raw. Raul Peralez, a member of the local city council, said he was waiting to hear from a close friend who worked at the transit center. from home, “he said.” I have a close friend – I’m still waiting for his status. He’s been a friend since college. His wife is coming down here now. “I don’t even know not that the news is devastating and I can understand what so many families are feeling right now, “he said. The violence started early Wednesday morning. Raj Singh, a union leader of the VTA operators’ union, said told the Mercury News that the shooting took place during the busiest time of the day at the streetcar facility, when employees showed up to work and prepared to start transit service. Laurie Smith, Sheriff County of Santa Clara, said sheriff’s deputies entered the building while the shots were still being fired, but they had not fired at the suspect. Police and investigators at the scene of a shooting in the streetcar yard of the San Jose Valley Transportation Authority. Photograph: John G Mabanglo / EPA The Active Sniper Rescue Team “entered the building as shots were fired. And I know it saved a lot of lives, ”Smith said. “We have had heroic acts which I believe have resulted in less loss of life.” Several reports identified the attacker as Sam Cassidy, 57, citing law enforcement sources. Authorities said the shooter committed suicide. A spokesperson for the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office said bomb-sniffer dogs detected explosives at the scene of the shooting. The authorities bring in a robot bomber to scan the scene. “They search every crevice in the building,” he says. The Sheriff’s Department confirmed in a press conference that it was investigating whether the shooting was related to one or more fires that broke out in San Jose around the same time. San Jose firefighters responded to a large house fire at 6:36 am and another fire in a commercial area at 6:26 am Both were reported moments before the shooting at the rail yard, which is located a few minutes drive away. Authorities approach a house being investigated in connection with the shooting. Photograph: Noah Berger / AP FBI spokesperson Craig Fair said the FBI was robbing with additional help from the agency’s resource center in Quantico, Virginia. San Jose, the 10th largest city in the United States with over one million residents, is located approximately 50 miles south of San Francisco in the heart of Silicon Valley. Wednesday’s attack was the county’s second mass shooting in less than two years. A gunman killed three people before committing suicide at a popular garlic festival in Gilroy in July 2019. According to the San Jose Mercury News, it was the deadliest mass shooting in the region of bay since 1993, when eight people and a gunman were killed at the 101 California Street Skyscraper in San Francisco. A fuller picture of the striker began to emerge on Wednesday evening. Sam Cassidy’s ex-wife Cecilia Nelms told The Associated Press that Cassidy had a bad temper and would tell him he wanted to kill people on the job, “but I never believed him, and that never happened. So far. ”Nelms, shaken by the news, said her ex-husband would come home curled up and angry about things going on at work. As he spoke,“ he would get crazier, ” she said, “He could dwell on things.” When Cassidy lost her temper, Nelms said there were times when she was scared. She was someone who could physically hurt others, she said. Nelms said they had been married for 10 years. Cassidy filed for divorce in 2005 and had not been in contact for 13 years. She said he had been treated for depression. Transit mechanic Rochelle Hawkins said ‘she had dropped her phone when she heard gunshots. “I was running so fast, I just ran for my life,” she said. “I hope everyone would just pray for the VTA family. Just pray for us. Associated Press contributed reporting



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