The world went upside down for the employees of Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in the early hours of Wednesday; when a gunman opened fire at them killing eight people on the spot while another lost battle to life in the hospital in another episode of the mass shooting at San Jose which left the country stunned.
Deputy Russel Davis from Santa Clara County sheriff’s office stated that the gunman was identified as an employee of the public transit rail yard, Sam Cassidy, and knew the victims very well.
The deceased aged between 29 to 63 were all colleagues of the gunman. They all worked together and were at the railyard together for their morning shift.
According to the ex-wife of the gunman, Cassidy resented his coworkers and spoke angrily about his work in the past multiple times. Cecilia Nelms reported to the news outlets that he had two sides; when he was good he was good but when he was mad he was blinded with anger.
Russel Davis stated that no exchange of fire took place between the gunman and the law enforcement agency although it did reach the crime scene when active shooting was taking place, it is believed that Cassidy took his own life.
The sheriff said that he is sure about the suspect knowing that the law enforcement agency is there; took his own life.
The deputies reached the crime scene rather quickly as it was right next to the sheriff’s office.
According to the reports, the shooting began early morning around 6:30 am and 911 was jammed with calls of reported shots being fired near a VTA control center. The control center is a power hub that is used to store the light rail trains and is also used for the maintenance of the trains.
Glenn Hendricks, the board chairperson of VTA stated that a horrible tragedy took place in the working premises of VTA. It happened in the rail yard and not the operation control center at a time when the business was just starting for the day. The yard is a dedicated space for maintenance and dispatching of the light rails. He paid his condolences to the VTA family while expressing grief to the family and friends of the deceased. The light rail service was supposedly suspended for a day as the on-scene crime investigation continued.
VTA is a public transit service that employs almost 2000 workers and manages light rail and bus services in Santa Clara valley.
A fire was reported in a house at the same time the shooting incident took place which was later identified as the house of the gunman. There was nobody in the house at the time the fire erupted. The San Jose fire department responded quickly to the report.
Governor Gavin Newsome met with the families of the VTA employees and expressed his grief along with the frustration of the rapidly increasing gun violence in America.
President Joe Biden sent his condolences to the victims’ families and called out congress, as it is high time now to act on the gun law reforms.
According to the Gun Violence Archive; this is the 232nd incident of mass shooting in America so far this year; the probability of shooting incidents has drastically increased compared to the previous years.