SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – In the South Bay, a week from Thursday will mark one year since a mass shooting at a VTA rail yard. On May 26, 2021 a worker opened fire inside a building and killed nine people.
But Stacey Hendler-Ross with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority told KRON4 that for many employees, it feels like it just happened.
“What I hear a lot around the agency is people saying I can’t believe it’s been a year already,” she said.
Hendler-Ross said nearly a year later, VTA leaders are trying to be sensitive to what employees may need, including continuing to offer counseling. And she’s noticed that community members are also supporting one another.
“What’s going on with each other, how are you feeling today? And what can I do to help you and lift you up?” she said.
Just in the past few days, crews finished demolishing the building where the mass shooting happened. It had been vacant since the end of the investigation.
Hendler-Ross said the completed demolition is another step towards healing for the VTA community. She says there is a plan to rebuild, but it hasn’t been finalized yet.
As for making it one year since the shooting, Hendler-Ross says VTA leaders talked with employees and decided on a candlelight vigil. It’s scheduled for 6:30 a.m. at the Guadalupe rail yard. That’s about the time first responders received calls about the shooting last year.
“Our employees expressed a desire to observe the first anniversary of this incident in a private way where they could support each other without being in a fishbowl, so to speak,” Hendler-Ross said.
Family and employees will be invited to attend in person. Everyone else will be able to view a live stream of it.