A woman leaves the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman said the railyard shooting left multiple people, including the shooter, dead. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS| Updated 24 minutes agoBy Tim Darnell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
An employee of a California transit agency opened fire Wednesday morning at a San Jose, California, light railyard, killing eight people before being killed himself.https://57144069db8a729dbdc31b3cd99f4cbc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
According to the Santa Clara, County, Sheriff’s Office, the suspect has only been identified as an employee of the Valley Transportation Agency. However, numerous media outlets are reporting the suspect’s name is Samuel Cassidy, who is also being reported as taking his own life at the scene.
According to Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Russell Davis, officers responded around 6:30 a.m. PT to multiple 911 calls regarding shots fired at Valley Transportation Agency facility, which also includes a maintenance yard. The shooting happened around the time of a shift change.
Davis also confirmed the suspected shooter is dead, though no cause of death details have been officially released. Police also have not released the type of weapon used by the shooter. The victims were all Valley Transportation Authority employees, Davis said.
No details have been released regarding the identities of the victims. One is reported to be in critical condition at a local hospital.
Cassidy’s home was also the scene of a heavy law enforcement presence early Wednesday morning, when authorities responding to a house fire reportedly found empty gas cans and the smell of gasoline. A local NBC reporter said hundreds of rounds of ammo were found throughout the house.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1397594469143175175&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ajc.com%2Fnews%2Fnation-world%2Fsan-jose-police-on-scene-of-active-shooting%2FV4HCUKUHJVEQLH5X4MERURWOEQ%2F&sessionId=7e85edf6f9d3492448ba0facffc7d1c9c2715482&siteScreenName=ajc&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px
*DEVELOPING* Heavy law enforcement presence (SJPD & SCSO) outside suspicious house fire that started around 630 am in south San Jose. FD: Found empty gas can and smell of gasoline inside burnt home on Angmar Ct. Also hundreds of rounds of ammo throughout house. No one inside. pic.twitter.com/rvTHn5zAeS— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) May 26, 2021
“A horrible tragedy occurred today,” said Glenn Hendricks, chairman of the VTA board of directors, who added the shooting happened in the train yard.
“This is a horrific day for our city,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo during the second of two media briefings that have been held since the shooter’s death. “We are in a very dark moment.”
The VTA provides bus, light rail and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the largest in the Bay Area and home to Silicon Valley. Hendricks said all light rail service was being suspended for the rest of the day, but buses were still going to continue running.
“These folks were heroes during COVID 19, the buses never stopped running, VTA didn’t stop running. They just kept at work, and now we’re really calling on them to be heroes a second time to survive such a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet that his office was “in close contact with local law enforcement and monitoring this situation closely.”
VTA trains were already out on morning runs when the shooting occurred. Light rail service was to be suspended at noon and replaced with bus bridges, Hendricks said.
Outside the scene, Michael Hawkins told The Mercury News that he was waiting for his mother, Rochelle Hawkins, who had called him from a co-worker’s phone to assure him that she was safe.
When the shooting started, “she got down with the rest of her coworkers” and dropped her cellphone, Michael Hawkins told the newspaper. Rochelle Hawkins did not see the shooter, and she was not sure how close she had been to the attacker, her son said.
Special agents from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding to the crime scene, officials said.
This story is developing.