Multiple deaths reported after shooting at California railyard

Ross Houston
May 27, 2021

A transit employee shot at least eight co-workers to death and committed suicide at a commuter rail yard in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, local authorities said. Investigators offered no immediate word on a possible motive but his ex-wife said he used to come home from work resentful and angry over what he perceived as unfair assignments.

"He just thought that some people got more easy-going things at work, and he'd get the harder jobs", she said. Still, Smith credited swift action by sheriff's deputies, who rushed to the scene from their own headquarters next door to the rail yard, preventing what might have been a much greater loss of life. "I say 'Hi, ' and he stared at me, dirty looking all the time".

This month alone, there were more than 60 mass shootings in the United States.

Davis said he could not identify the shooter or confirm how they died. The victims were found in two buildings on the site.

Santa Clara is the largest county in California's Bay Area and is home to Silicon Valley.

In addition to Fritch, eight others were killed in Wednesday's shooting: Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.

A Law enforcement source told the LA Times the suspect was a 50-year-old male who is believed to have killed himself after the shooting.

Cassidy had worked for the transit authority since at least 2012, when he was listed as an "electro-mechanic", and was promoted to "substation maintainer" in 2015, according to records posted by the nonprofit website Transportation California.

The suspect and another individual filed domestic violence restraining orders against one another in 2009, three years after Cassidy divorced his spouse, according to online court records.

'A frightful tragedy has happened today and our thoughts and love go out to the VTA family, ' Glenn Hendricks, chairman of the VTA board, told reporters.

The VTA shut down rail service at noon as the search by the bombers continued.

"This is a very dark moment for our city and our community", San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a press conference.

Authorities have linked the deceased suspect to two fires that occurred around the same time as the shooting.

The fire was extinguished in an hour-long operation. Investigators found hundreds of round of ammunition in the suspect's home, after the premises was swept by an Federal Bureau of Investigation bomb squad.

Later on Wednesday, Biden ordered flags around the country to fly at half-staff.

A White House spokeswoman told reporters that the shooting was further evidence that the United States was in the grip of an "epidemic of gun violence". Mass gun violence has escalated considerably as the US emerges out from the worst of the pandemic this spring.

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