A gunman opened fire at a public transit rail yard in San Jose, California, on Wednesday morning. According to Deputy Russell Davis of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the tragic incident left at least eight people dead and one person in critical condition.
The law enforcement officers did not exchange gunfire with the gunman, who was carrying more than one gun, and the investigators believed he took his own life.
The gunman was identified as Sam Cassidy, an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said the victims and the gunman worked together and were at the rail yard that morning.
“I know for sure that when the suspect knew the law enforcement was there, he took his own life, our deputies were right there at that time,” the sheriff said. The deputies were there quickly because the sheriff’s office is next door, she added.
The deputies and San Jose police officers immediately ran into a building as the shooting was continuing, and the quick response of the sheriff’s office saved many lives.
According to the medical examiner, the victims’ age range was from 29 to 63. The victims were identified by the medical examiner as Adrian Balleza, 29, Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35, Taptejdeep Singh, 36, Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40, Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Lars Kepler Lane, 63, and Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63.
“He had two sides,” said Cecilia Nelms, Cassidy’s ex-wife.” When he was in a good mood, he was a great guy. When he was mad, he was mad.” She confirmed that Cassidy had spoken angrily about his co-workers in the past and resented his job.
Investigators are looking into the gunman’s motive, said Jeff Rosen, a Santa Clara County District Attorney. They cannot confirm whether there may have been any red flags about the shooter’s intentions.
VTA suspended the light rail service as the crime scene investigation was ongoing. As the public transit service provider in the Santa Clara Valley, the VTA operates the bus and light rail services and employs about 2,000 workers.