eight lifeless in a rampage
SAN JOSE, California – A gunman opened fire in a city train station Wednesday, killing at least eight people in the recent rampage to rock the nation in recent weeks.
Police spokesman Russell Davis said the shooter, an employee of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) sprawling light rail hub, was dead and other employees were among the victims.The shooter died of a self-curled gunshot wound, Davis said.
Davis did not disclose how many employees were wounded, saying, “Numbers can change.” One person was in critical condition at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, spokeswoman Joy Alexiou told USA TODAY.
Davis didn’t say how long the shooter had worked on the hub, what type of weapon he was using, or whether the shooter had a gun license. One motive was not immediately clear.
“This is still an ongoing and ongoing incident,” said Davis. “We’re trying to find out what exactly happened.”
Santa Clara County’s sheriff Laurie Smith said bomb dogs alerted officials to the presence of explosives at the scene. A bomb squad went from room to room with a robot and “searched every crack in every building,” said Davis.
“”There are many, many components that we continue to discover, “said Smith.
The FBI, Homeland Security, and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau helped on site. Craig Fair, the FBI special agent in charge, said the crime scene was “quite large” and would “take a while to process”.
The public suspect has been identified as Samuel Cassidy, two police officers told The Associated Press.cords that Cassidy, 57, had been admitted to the Bureau of Automotive Repair as a smog check repair technician since 2003. Before that he worked for a car dealership in the city.
Around the time of the shooting, the San Jose Fire Department responded to a major structural fire at an address given to Cassidy. Mayor Sam Liccardo told ABC-7 that the shooter started the fire on the way to the construction site. The fire department was unable to immediately confirm a relationship between the incidents.
“This is a terrible day for our city and a tragic day for the VTA family,” said Liccardo. “Our hearts ache for the families and the employees.”
By Wednesday afternoon, the flags were halfway through the workforce and local officials set up a fundraiser for the victims and their families. A vigil was planned for Thursday, 6 p.m. local time in the town hall.
“These people were heroes during COVID 19. The buses never stopped driving. The VTA never stopped driving. They just kept working, and now we are really asking them to be heroes a second time – to witness such a terrible thing to survive.” , terrible tragedy, “said County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
The visibly emotional Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, expressed frustration at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. He said he felt an “equality” and “deafness” after another mass shooting.
“It begs the fucking question, what the hell is going on in the United States of America?” Said Newsom. “We flush and repeat somewhere else in this country.”
He urged Americans “to go beyond the platitudes and usual rheotics” that normally occur after mass shootings and “not to make this meaningless”.
Loved ones gathered at a family reunification center in the nearby county administration building, where counselors provided support, Liccardo said. Michael Hawkins, from San Jose, came to find his wife, Rochelle, a mechanic with the VTA, after receiving a message from her on the phone.
“I’m only here for my wife. I hope she’s okay and whoever is in there is fine,” said Hawkins. “She took her phone off working. She is fine. She was using a coworker’s phone.”
Angel Diaz, from San Jose, came to check on his brother Max Dominguez after he and his sister received a phone call asking them to go to the family reunification center.
“I’m a little worried,” said Diaz in Spanish. He said there could be many reasons why he hadn’t heard from his brother. “He’s driving a bus so they can’t make phone calls.”
Raul Peralez, a San Jose city council member who spoke at the press conference, said he heard the news when he woke up Wednesday morning fearing the worst. He said he was waiting to hear the status of a friend he’d known since middle school who was in contact with the man’s wife.
“I don’t even know that information is devastating and I can understand how many families are feeling right now,” Peralez said. “When an incident like this happens, and when it happens near home, it affects us so much more deeply because of the people we know, who we love and who we work with.”
The shooting is the latest in an onslaught of gun violence across the United States. In March, eight people were killed by a rifleman in three spas in Atlanta and a nearby county. Six days later, 10 people were killed in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. Weeks later, eight people were killed when a gunman shot at workers at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
The incident marks the second mass shooting in Santa Clara County in less than two years. In 2019, a shooter opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, killing three people and wounding 17.
Gilroy-born Koedy Bryant was in the Santa Clara area Wednesday morning watching the scene with other construction workers planning to install cameras on a VTA light rail project.
“It was definitely a huge shock to hear about the shootings this morning,” said Bryant. “I’m from Gilroy so I took care of it for the Gilroy Garlic shoot. It’s kind of shocking to be honest looking around here.”
Police first learned of the shooting when multiple emergency calls came in around 6:30 a.m. local time, Davis said.Dozens of police and sheriff’s office vehicles swarmed around the VTA site, where trains are stored and which serves as a maintenance yard. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is nearby.
Davis said the train yard had an indoor and an outdoor area and he wasn’t sure if the slaughter took place inside or outside.
“When the sheriffs got there, they got there fast enough to still hear gunshots,” said Chavez, the district manager. “They did their best and got on campus as quickly as possible. That means we have to hold on to each other as a community, be ready to go, we have to be ready to dial 911.”
The VTA operates three light rail lines with a length of more than 60 km. The agency operates 70 bus routes in the region. Light rail traffic would be out for a few days, a VTA official said on Wednesday.
In San Jose, violent crime rose nearly 17% this year compared to the same period last year, according to police. Homicides are up 75%.
According to an Associated Press / USA TODAY / Northeastern University database, 15 mass murders were committed in 2021, each with at least four victims dead. All of the cases were shootings and killed a total of 86.
According to the database, three occurred in Indianapolis, two in California, and two in Colorado. Six were in public places and were not involved in criminal activities such as robbery or illicit drug trafficking.
Bacon reported from Arlington, Virginia. Hauck reported from Edgartown, Massachusetts. Contributors: Angelica Cabral, The Salinas Californian, part of the USA TODAY Network, from San Jose