California transit worker kills 8, extending U.S. epidemic of mass shootings By Reuters

© Reuters. A view of the rail yard run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, California, U.S. May 26, 2021. REUTERS/Peter DaSilva


By Peter DaSilva and Jonathan Allen

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) – A California transit worker killed eight co-workers and wounded one other earlier than taking his personal life on Wednesday, the newest in a spate of lethal U.S. mass shootings, prompting the state’s governor to ask: “What the hell is wrong with us?”

Authorities didn’t instantly supply many particulars or a potential motive for the taking pictures, which unfolded about 6:30 a.m. Pacific Time (1330 GMT) at a light-rail yard for commuter trains of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), within the coronary heart of Silicon Valley within the San Francisco Bay Area.

A bomb squad was looking the yard and adjoining buildings after at the least one explosive system was discovered, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis stated at a information convention.

Sheriff Laurie Smith advised reporters that gunfire was nonetheless happening when her first deputies arrived on the scene, and that the assailant took his personal life, apparently when he turned conscious that police have been closing in on him.

Officers by no means exchanged gunfire with the suspect, Davis stated. Still, Smith credited swift motion by sheriff’s deputies, who rushed to the scene from their very own headquarters subsequent door to the rail yard, stopping what may need been a a lot higher loss of life.

Governor Gavin Newsom, showing with Smith and others in San Jose, voiced exasperation on the frequency and regularity of gun violence in America.

“There is a sameness to this and that numbness, I think, is something that we are all feeling,” Newsom stated. “It begs the damn question, What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us and when are we going to come to grips with this?”

The gunman, the eight victims shot lifeless, and a survivor who was hospitalized in important situation have been all workers of the transit company located close to the town’s airport, officers stated. The victims have been present in two buildings on the location.

Authorities didn’t launch the gunman’s title or age. The San Jose Mercury News and different media shops recognized him as Samuel Cassidy, 57, a upkeep worker on the yard.

Cassidy had labored for the transit authority since at the least 2012, when he was listed as an “electro-mechanic,” and was promoted to “substation maintainer” in 2015, based on information posted by the nonprofit web site Transportation California.

Last 12 months, he earned a wage of $102,000, plus advantages and $20,000 in time beyond regulation, the information confirmed.

The suspect and one other particular person filed home violence restraining orders towards each other in 2009, three years after Cassidy divorced his partner, based on on-line courtroom information.


“A horrible tragedy has happened today and our thoughts and love go out to the VTA family,” Glenn Hendricks, chairman of the VTA board, advised reporters.

The taking pictures befell in a bit of the rail yard the place staff carry out upkeep on automobiles, and was not within the facility’s operations and management middle, he stated. Rail service on the commuter line was suspended after the taking pictures.

San Jose, a metropolis of about 1 million residents, lies on the coronary heart of Silicon Valley, a worldwide expertise hub and residential to some of America’s largest high-tech corporations.

“These are, and were, essential workers,” San Jose’s mayor, Sam Liccardo, stated of the victims.

He confirmed in tv information interviews that authorities had additionally responded to a fireplace on the residence of the suspect that erupted at about the identical time because the taking pictures.

Multiple hearth division, police and bomb squad automobiles have been nonetheless parked exterior the suspect’s home, alongside a cul-de-sac in southeastern San Jose, hours after the taking pictures.

An explosives-detecting robotic sat on the street close to the house whereas two bomb squad technicians entered the ranch-style home. Arson investigators together with brokers of the FBI and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been additionally current.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the taking pictures, and his workers continued to watch the scenario whereas maintaining in shut contact with native officers to supply any help wanted, the White House stated.

“What’s clear, as the president has said, is that we are suffering from an epidemic of gun violence in this country, both from mass shootings and in the lives that are being taken in daily gun violence that doesn’t make national headlines,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre advised reporters.

Mass gun violence, commonplace in a rustic with one of the best charges of firearm possession on the earth, has escalated significantly following a year-long lull because the United States emerged from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring.

Wednesday’s incident was the newest of at the least 9 lethal U.S. mass shootings which have made nationwide headlines prior to now three months, beginning with a string of assaults at Atlanta-area day spas in mid-March that claimed eight lives, and a rampage days later that killed 10 at a Colorado grocery store.

Last month, a former worker of an Indianapolis FedEx (NYSE:) middle shot eight staff to dying earlier than taking his personal life. Earlier this month a person fatally shot his girlfriend and 5 different folks earlier than taking his personal life at a birthday celebration in Colorado.

The United States noticed at the least 200 mass shootings within the first 132 days of this 12 months, based on a report by the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit analysis group that defines such incidents as these through which 4 or extra folks, aside from the assailant, are shot, regardless of the quantity killed.

(For a factbox on latest mass U.S. shootings, click on on)

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