San Jose VTA mass shooting: Everything you need to know

Bay Area

What happened?

A gunman opened fire Wednesday morning at a VTA rail yard in San Jose, killing multiple people before ending his own life, authorities said.

The shooting took place at around 6:30 a.m.

What do we know about the victims?

Nine people were shot and killed Wednesday, and others were injured.

The severity of the injuries is not known at this time.

All of the victims have been identified by the Office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner.

  • Paul Delacruz Megia, age 42
  • Taptejdeep Singh, age 36
  • Adrian Balleza, age 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, age 35
  • Timothy Michael Romo, age 49
  • Michael Joseph Rudometkin, age 40
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, age 63
  • Lars Kepler Lane, age 63
  • Alex Ward Fritch, age 49

County officials say that the victim’s next of kin have been notified.

Two patients were transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to spokesperson Joy Alexiou.

Who is the suspect?

The suspect was identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy.

Cassidy was a VTA worker.

His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told The Associated Press that Cassidy had a bad temper and would tell her that he wanted to kill people at work, “but I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now.”

Nelms, teary-eyed and shaken by the news, said her ex-husband would come home wound up and angry about things that happened at work. As he talked about it, “he would get more mad,” she said. “He could dwell on things.”

When Cassidy lost his temper, Nelms said there were times she was scared. He was someone who could physically hurt others, she said.

Nelms said they were married for 10 years – Cassidy filed for divorce in 2005 – and had not been in contact for 13 years. She said he had been treated for depression

Was there a motive?

Officials say at this time, there is no information on a possible motive.

What are officials saying?

Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed outrage and frustration with America’s gun violence problem during a press conference in San Jose Wednesday afternoon.

“What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us?”

President Joe Biden also talked about gun violence in the country, calling on Congress to take immediate action.

“Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more,” he said.”

Will there be a vigil?

A vigil is planned Thursday to honor the victims killed.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said the vigil will be held at City Hall Plaza at 6 p.m.

“This is a moment for us to come together and grieve after today’s horrific tragedy” Liccardo said.

Was a fire connected to the shooting?

A suspicious house fire in San Jose that broke out just before the mass shooting may be connected, according to Mayor Sam Liccardo.

The San Jose Fire Department responded to the 1100 block of Angmar Ct at 6:36 a.m. for a fire. It was a single-family home and the fire was extinguished by 7:30 a.m.

Public records show the gunman, Sam Cassidy, owned a two-story home where firefighters responded Wednesday morning.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said there were explosive devices inside the house that was on fire on Angmar Ct.

Were there any warning signs?

District Attorney Jeff Rosen told KRON4 he doesn’t know if there’s anything officials could have done to prevent this shooting.

Rosen says the investigation is active, in terms of figuring out exactly what the perpetrator did, the motive, and whether there were any clues or signs.

“So one thing I’m very interested in, and I know the community is, is were there any warning signs that could have led to intervention by law enforcement or behavioral health or anyone else – that would have stopped a shooting like this from happening?”

There are red flag laws in California, which allow police and the DA’s office to remove guns from someone’s possession if a person is mentally imbalanced or talking about hurting other people.

Rosen says those restraining orders have stopped several mass shooting instances, but it’s unclear if it officials could have done anything differently to prevent this shooting.

How can we help victims?

Working Partnerships USA is collecting donations for the those directly impacted by the tragedy.

Donations are tax deductible.

Click here to make a donation.

What else do we know?

A neighbor’s surveillance camera captured video of the San Jose gunman moments before shooting Wednesday morning.

Video shows the shooter, 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, loading a large duffel bag into his white truck as he left for work around 5:40 a.m.

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