SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – The city of San Jose is mourning the loss of nine innocent people who lost their lives in a mass shooting Wednesday morning.
An employee opened fire at a VTA rail yard in San Jose, killing nine people before ending his own life, authorities said.
Michael “Mikey” Rudometkin was identified as a victim killed in Wednesday’s shooting, according to San Jose officials.
His family sent photos and written statements to KRON4 about the loss of their dear Michael.
“In an attempt to define Mike’s life, I have found it so very difficult to do without feeling like it is being understated. Michael is the first person I gave my heart to and to have it broken this way is utterly cruel. Mike was a genuinely likeable, nice person. He was there for his friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers day and night with a smile and open heart. He was warm and outgoing, often wandering off to meet new people and always making everyone around him feel like they had known him for years.
They say that opposites attract, and that couldn’t be more true for me and Mike. I am the polar opposite to Mike’s outgoing and generous nature, often trying to safeguard him from being taken advantage of. I hope my attempts saved him a little less worry and strain, and in exchange he brought me some of the loveliest friends and family who have been carrying me through this senseless tragedy.
I will never understand why such a wonderful and gentle person had to be taken from us in this way. I am heartbroken that I will never hear another one of his bad jokes, receive one of his great bear hugs, celebrate another joint birthday together or be able to give him a hard time about his terrible driving. Mike and I had 19 amazing years together full of adventures. It was not supposed to end this way. I will forever miss Michael with my entire being, and grieve this tragedy with our families, friends, and community.”Gloria Rudometkin, Michael’s wife
“Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our son to this ruthless, senseless massacre. Michael was very passionate about his work with VTA and his involvement with his union, ATU Local 265. He had so much life to live, and dreams and goals to accomplish. He has always been a wonderful loving and caring son, brother to Janelle, loving husband to Gloria, uncle, cousin and friend to so many. Michael was the kind of guy that would give his last penny and shirt off his back. He gave himself selflessly to anyone who needed it before asking for anything for himself. Anyone could call him for help and he’d be there at any hour.
Mike attended Cupertino schools, played in Tri Cities Little League, and was a Youth Minister and Pastoral Council member at Queen of Apostles Church in San Jose. He graduated from Evergreen College Cum Laude and became one of the youngest Auto Master Technicians from their program. He enjoyed spending time with his wife, working on home projects, and with his fur baby dogs, Sasha and Olive. Family was very important to him and he was always a part of all of our celebrations and family functions.
Michael was a big fan and enjoyed sports of all kinds. He was an avid golfer, big fan of the SF Forty Niners, SJ Sharks, and Golden State Warriors. He loved snowboarding, going to the casino, and spending time at the Russian River. Michael definitely loved living life to the fullest. We are so proud of the man Michael was and so honored to have him as our son. Michael, we will love you to infinity.”Gary and Rose Rudometkin, Michael’s parents
“Michael Joseph Rudometkin was the kind of man that people just naturally gravitated towards. Whether it be his friendly gestures or engaged conversations, he had this light and warmth about him that just drew you in. He was the type of man that other men aspired to be. His smile could light up a room. His hugs could make your day better in an instant.
Mike didn’t know the meaning of the word no, it just wasn’t in his vocabulary. It didn’t matter if he had worked 16 hours straight, if someone needed his help, he’d be there. He loved his job, and was committed to making VTA a strong and happy workplace throug involvement with his union. Mike worked hard and played harder, not missing one moment of life. He loved spending time with his family and friends by playing golf, enjoying a night out, or hanging at the Russian River. He was a true gentleman with a shining smile. There was no end to his passions and future dreams.
This tragedy has cut his life too short and we are unable to process how we’re feeling and what is happening. He was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle, nephew and friend. When they talk about great men, giants, if you will, to walk this earth, they will speak of Michael because that is who he was & who he will always be. We will miss him dearly and we are so thankful for the community’s support.”Janelle and Alfredo Aguirre, Michael’s sister and brother-in-law
San Jose City Councilmember Raul Peralez posted to Facebook sharing that his friend had passed away.
Peralez talked about the heartache after losing his close friend.
He wrote, “My family and I have lost a long time great friend and there are no words to describe the heartache we are feeling right now, especially for his family,” Peralez wrote on Facebook. “Eight families are feeling this same sense of loss tonight and our entire community is mourning as well. It has been personally tough to find the right words and I will be spending some much needed time amongst family and friends tonight. Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out and offered your thoughts and support.”
The motive of the shooting is unknown at this time.
You can find a list of all the victims identified in the shooting here.