Gunman kills 8 colleagues at the California railroad yard; the attacker is also dead

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A transit worker shot dead eight co-workers and was himself killed at a suburban rail yard in San Jose, Calif., On Wednesday, authorities said in the latest wave of deadly gun violence against workers. United States.

Authorities did not immediately provide many details or a possible motive for the shooting, which took place around 6:30 a.m. Pacific Time (1:30 p.m. GMT) at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail yard.

A bomb squad searched the yard after at least one explosive device was found, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis told a press conference.

Davis did not say how the assailant died or whether police called to the scene fired their guns.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said authorities also responded to a fire at the suspect’s home, although no one was found inside.

The shooter and the eight victims were employees of the transport agency located near the city’s airport, officials said. The authorities did not give the name or the age of the gunman.

The San Jose Mercury News and other media outlets identified him as Samuel Cassidy, 57, a construction maintenance worker.

Cassidy had worked for the transportation company since at least 2012 when he was listed as an “electromechanic” and was promoted to “substation maintainer” in 2015, according to information released by the nonprofit website Transportation. California.

Last year, he earned a salary of $ 102,000, plus benefits and $ 20,000 in overtime, according to records.

Local television station KTVU-TV reported that Cassidy had been married for 10 years and divorced in 2009, citing an interview with his ex-wife, who allegedly told the channel that she had had little contact with him during the last decade.

‘ESSENTIAL WORKERS’

“A horrible tragedy has occurred today and our hearts and love are with the VTA family,” Glenn Hendricks, Chairman of the VTA Board of Directors, said at the press conference.

Police secure the scene of a mass shooting at a rail yard operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, California, United States on May 26, 2021. REUTERS / Peter DaSilva

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He said the shooting took place in a section of the marshalling yard where workers were performing vehicle maintenance and was not in the facility’s operations and control center.

San Jose, a city of about 1 million people, sits in the heart of Silicon Valley, a global tech hub and home to some of America’s biggest tech companies.

“They are, and were, essential workers,” Liccardo said of the victims.

“These VTA employees have helped us through this horrific pandemic. They were showing up every day to operate light trains and buses to make sure people could still live their lives amid the challenge of the pandemic. And they were taking risks with theirs. lives doing this, ”the mayor said.

He said he was aware of reports of a fire in the house of the man authorities believed to be the shooter.

“This is certainly the information I have is that there was a fire at the shooter’s home, there was no one found inside the house, thank goodness,” Liccardo told the CNN affiliate KGO in an interview. “It’s every mayor’s worst nightmare.”

Several fire, police and bomb squad vehicles were still parked outside the suspect’s house, along a dead end in southeast San Jose, hours after the shooting.

An explosives detection robot sat on the street near the house as two technicians from the bomb squad entered the ranch-style house. Arson investigators as well as agents from the FBI and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also present.

US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting and his staff have continued to monitor the situation while remaining in close contact with local officials to offer any assistance needed, the White House said.

“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Mass gun violence, common in a country with one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, escalated dramatically after a year-long lull as the United States emerged from the worst COVID-19 pandemic this spring.

Wednesday’s incident was the latest of at least eight fatal mass shootings in the United States in the past three months, including a series of attacks on day spas in the Atlanta area in mid- March and a rampage a few days later that left 10 people dead in a Colorado supermarket. Last month, a former employee at a FedEx center in Indianapolis shot dead eight workers and then committed suicide.

(This story corrects the date of the divorce in paragraph 10)

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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