Victims’ Names Are Released After California Shooting


Credit score…Philip Pacheco/Getty Photos

A transit employee opened hearth at a rail yard in San Jose, Calif., early Wednesday, killing eight individuals, lots of them fellow staff, in line with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Workplace, which reported that the gunman was additionally useless.

California regulation enforcement officers recognized the gunman as Samuel James Cassidy, 57, a upkeep employee who had been with the V.T.A. for at the least a decade and whose suburban residence was in flames because the taking pictures began.

The assault — which occurred as dispatchers and upkeep employees on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority had been getting ready for the beginning of the day’s service — unfold turmoil by means of the sprawling municipal advanced close to downtown San Jose, the nation’s 10th-largest metropolis and the center of Silicon Valley.

Buildings had been evacuated, and lightweight rail service was steadily shut down as bomb squad groups scoured the world for explosives. Workers who had been working the busy morning shift had been led to a separate constructing, the place members of the family awaited.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California met with a few of them. In a day information convention, he praised sheriff’s deputies for his or her response to the taking pictures and lamented yet one more American tragedy. “What the hell is unsuitable with us,” he mentioned, “and when are we going to return to grips with this?”

In an announcement, President Biden urged Congress to take motion on gun violence and mentioned, “There are at the least eight households who won’t ever be entire once more. There are kids, dad and mom, and spouses who’re ready to listen to whether or not somebody they love is ever going to return residence. There are union brothers and sisters — good, sincere, hardworking individuals — who’re mourning their very own.”

The medical expert’s workplace in Santa Clara County recognized the victims on Wednesday evening as Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63. As well as, at the least one wounded individual was in important situation.

James Kostmayer, a San Jose County worker who works within the constructing the place households had been ready to listen to phrase about their family members, mentioned the scene inside was “heartbreaking.”

“You would hear the screams and cries of the households” from the elevator, he mentioned, including that he heard “a mom screaming, ‘My son, my son.’”

Sgt. Russell Davis, a spokesman for the sheriff’s workplace, mentioned that law enforcement officials didn’t change gunfire with the gunman, and that they believed he had killed himself. He additionally mentioned that they had no indication a couple of attainable motive.

In an interview, Connie Wang, 58, a former girlfriend of the suspect, mentioned she had not seen or spoken to him in 12 years, however described him as somebody who was “not mentally steady.” Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose mentioned those that had recognized the suspect as a co-worker for years additionally “expressed generalized considerations about his psychological well being.”

“It is a horrific day for our metropolis,” Mr. Liccardo instructed reporters. “And it’s a tragic day for the V.T.A. household.”

Glenn Hendricks, the chairman of the authority’s board, famous that the authority’s work power of some 2,100 staff had been important throughout the coronavirus pandemic, risking their well being to offer bus, rail and paratransit service for commuters in a lot of the Silicon Valley.

“V.T.A. is a household,” Mr. Hendricks mentioned, his voice shaking. “Everybody within the group is aware of everybody.”

The violence was first reported at 6:34 a.m. in a nook of a giant advanced of municipal buildings. Officers had been dispatched from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Workplace, which is headquartered subsequent door.

Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.

California Governor Gavin Newsom takes a moment to compose his emotions during a news conference about the San Jose shooting.
Credit score…Amy Osborne/Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California condemned the “rinse and repeat” cycle of mass shootings in America as he spoke to reporters on Wednesday in regards to the killing of eight individuals at a rail yard in San Jose.

There have been 68 mass shootings in the USA prior to now two months, in line with the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass taking pictures as one by which 4 or extra individuals are injured or killed.

“It begs the rattling query, what the hell is happening in the USA of America?” Mr. Newsom mentioned. “What the hell is unsuitable with us, and when are we going to return to grips with this?”

Mr. Newsom implored lawmakers to take motion, and instructed all People to “take just a little rattling accountability, all of us, to perform a little bit extra and just a little bit higher this time, and transfer past the platitudes and the standard rhetoric that tends to mark not simply these moments however the aftermath of those moments.”

The variety of mass shootings declined throughout a lot of the coronavirus pandemic, however they’ve turn into extra frequent since March, when a gunman killed eight individuals at spas within the Atlanta space. Mr. Newsom referred to as mass shootings a “pre-existing situation” that had as soon as once more “reared its ugly head.”

The taking pictures in San Jose is believed to be the deadliest within the Bay Space since 1993, when a gunman used three semiautomatic pistols to kill eight individuals at an workplace constructing in downtown San Francisco.

Police and investigators at the scene of the shooting, where eight people were killed.
Credit score…John G Mabanglo/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

The names of the eight victims within the San Jose taking pictures at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority rail yard have been launched. Here’s what we find out about a few of their lives.

Taptejdeep Singh, a lightweight rail operator for the V.T.A., was remembered by a cousin because the nicest individual in his household and a gregarious man who loved enjoying volleyball.

“We’re very unhappy proper now,” mentioned the cousin, Bagga Singh, who was one in all greater than a dozen members of the family ready all day to be taught what had occurred to their relative. Shortly after 6 p.m., they bought the unhealthy information. A number of members of the family broke down sobbing at a Purple Cross facility and had been escorted away.

The dying of Mr. Singh, who was Sikh and moved to the USA from India in 2005, marks the second time in two months that members of the nation’s Sikh neighborhood mourned after a mass taking pictures. In April, 4 Sikhs had been among the many eight individuals killed in a taking pictures at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis.

Credit score…Household photograph

Taptejdeep Singh had a spouse and two younger kids, Bagga Singh mentioned, and loved his job on the V.T.A., the place he had been working for eight or 9 years. He additionally had an insurance coverage license and was an actual property agent, Bagga Singh mentioned.

“He can work something he desires, very good man,” he mentioned.

Members of the family mentioned county officers instructed them that Taptejdeep Singh acted heroically when he detected hazard throughout the assault, calling out to his co-workers that pictures had been being fired and shortly ushering one lady right into a safe room.

“I feel he’s the one who tried to avoid wasting the individuals, as many as he might,” mentioned Bagga Singh, who additionally spoke out in opposition to gun violence: “No person ought to have a gun.”

Ed Lane expressed anguish on Wednesday evening over the dying of his brother Lars Lane, who labored as a journeyman lineman — engaged on outside electrical tools — for the V.T.A., in line with his LinkedIn profile.

“My brother was murdered at this time,” Mr. Lane mentioned in an e-mail. “Not by a gun however by a person that might have been helped.”

Mr. Lane spent a lot of the day ready to search out out if his brother, who native media shops reported was a husband and a father, was among the many victims. He sharply criticized the way in which the notification course of was dealt with, along with the renewed name for more durable gun management legal guidelines within the aftermath of one other mass taking pictures.

“I’m uninterested in the gun management propaganda,” he mentioned. “Politicians and regulation enforcement patting themselves on the again leaving my household at midnight for 12 hours. The household help was completely a entrance of incompetence.”

Law enforcement officers in the light rail yard in San Jose where a gunman killed eight people.
Credit score…Philip Pacheco/Getty Photos

The person recognized by California regulation enforcement officers because the gunman in a mass taking pictures at a San Jose rail yard on Wednesday lived alone and had a hostile character, in line with interviews with a neighbor and an ex-girlfriend, in addition to a evaluation of courtroom data.

The gunman, Samuel James Cassidy, 57, lived southeast of downtown San Jose, in a suburban neighborhood of cul-de-sacs and palm timber, public data present. Doug Suh, an actual property agent who lived throughout the road, described Mr. Cassidy, who authorities say appeared to have killed himself, as somebody with a brief mood.

“I used to be afraid of him,” Mr. Suh mentioned. “My spouse was petrified of him, too.”

“He lived alone,” Mr. Suh mentioned. “I by no means noticed any mates or household. I by no means noticed anybody else going into the home.”

Mr. Suh recalled Mr. Cassidy as soon as lashing out at him when Mr. Suh turned his automobile round in Mr. Cassidy’s driveway. “He yelled, ‘Do not come onto my driveway.’”

On Wednesday morning at 5:40 a.m., Mr. Suh’s safety digital camera captured Mr. Cassidy, who was carrying a uniform with reflective stripes, loading his white pickup truck with a black bag. About an hour later, Mr. Suh left his home to play golf and noticed that Mr. Cassidy’s home was on hearth. Mr. Suh referred to as 911.

Household courtroom data present that Mr. Cassidy was married for 10 years earlier than divorcing in 2004. The couple had no kids.

In 2009, Mr. Cassidy sought a restraining order in opposition to his former girlfriend, Jingkun Wang, often called Connie. In courtroom filings, he accused her of vandalizing his roommate’s automobile, calling at late hours of the evening, hurling insults and suggesting she had him underneath surveillance.

Ms. Wang countered that Mr. Cassidy, whom she had dated for a 12 months, had “main temper swings resulting from bipolar dysfunction” which had been exacerbated when he consumed massive portions of alcohol. She additionally accused him of forcing himself on her sexually.

Their relationship failed when he instructed her round February 2009 {that a} feminine houseguest had moved in, and that she ought to now not come go to.

She denied vandalizing any automobiles, and accused him of stealing objects from eating places and employers, and failing to return her tv and pc printer.

“He has manipulated me in some ways that are obvious to my family and friends,” she mentioned.

The courtroom ordered Ms. Wang to remain at the least 300 yards from him, his dad and mom and his new girlfriend for 3 years.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Ms. Wang, now 58, mentioned she had not spoken to Mr. Cassidy in 12 years, however described him as somebody who was “not mentally steady,” who can be loving one second and imply the following. She additionally described his ingesting as extreme.

They met on Match.com, Ms. Wang mentioned. Two months into their relationship, he instructed her to choose a diamond ring and he would purchase it, she recalled. She declined.

After they broke up, Mr. Cassidy confirmed up at her residence advanced in the future, Ms. Wang mentioned. A neighbor let him in and he took her brand-new Toyota Camry, for which he had a key, with out permission. He returned it broken from what he instructed her was an accident, she mentioned.

First responders walk the street in front of a home that was set ablaze in San Jose.
Credit score…Jim Wilson/The New York Occasions

Andy and Alice Abad had been of their kitchen Wednesday morning within the Evergreen neighborhood of San Jose after they noticed a funnel of smoke pouring out of a neighbor’s residence, a one-story grey home with white trim and a patchy garden.

Mr. Abad referred to as 911 and was instructed that firefighters had been already on the way in which. “The flames had been above the rooftop,” Mr. Abad mentioned.

He took an image of the home together with his cellphone and headed out together with his spouse to a health care provider’s appointment. When he returned residence at midday, the neighborhood was swarming with hearth and police automobiles, federal brokers and a boxy blue truck from the San Jose bomb squad.

“What’s occurring right here?” Mr. Abad mentioned as he stepped out of his automobile in his driveway.

The mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, described a “unusual connection” between the hearth in the home and the assault on a rail yard close to downtown that left 9 individuals useless, together with the gunman. The positioning of the taking pictures is eight miles away from the house, a 10- or 15-minute drive.

Males with gasoline masks and oxygen tanks stood amid the flashing lights of emergency automobiles that penetrated into the cul-de-sacs of what’s described by residents as a quiet suburban neighborhood populated largely by Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants.

Members of the bomb squad walked previous citrus and palm timber to enter the house as different regulation enforcement officers carried shovels and different backyard implements into the property. The house on Wednesday afternoon was largely intact, however the crown of the roof was darkened by hearth.

Michael Hawkins Sr. arrives to be reunified with his wife Rochelle, a transit authority mechanic who left a message on his phone during the mass shooting in San Jose, Calif. on Wednesday.
Credit score…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Occasions

Households of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority staff had been directed to attend for information at a county constructing near the rail yard.

Jazmin Diaz arrived to search out out if her brother, Max, who works for the authority, was OK. He doesn’t work on the a part of the rail yard the place the taking pictures occurred, she mentioned, however had not answered his telephone all morning.

“I hope he’s good,” she mentioned, pausing to take a telephone name from a member of the family. “We consider that God protected him.”

One man, who wouldn’t present his identify, arrived on the county constructing together with his grandfather. He hoped for information of his uncle, a lightweight rail operator who he has not heard from all morning.

“I by no means thought one thing like this could actually occur,” the person mentioned, earlier than getting into the constructing. “He has two little children — that’s all I can take into consideration proper now.”

Brandi Childress, a spokeswoman for the V.T.A., mentioned she was knowledgeable at 6:45 a.m. native time that there was an “lively shooter occasion.” Workers had been on the job at the moment, she mentioned.

“It’s the place now we have dispatchers and upkeep,” she mentioned. “They stand up early and they’re there. That’s the reason the main target is on containing and evacuating staff. It’s the place we retailer and keep all of our trains.”

At about 1 p.m., at the least 10 household teams emerged from the aspect of the county constructing, the place Gov. Gavin Newsom of California stood within the doorway. Some, together with a pair of ladies with their arms wrapped round a 3rd lady, had been escorted by safety officers right into a ready bus.

Loirena Ruico, who drove the bus to the close by American Purple Cross constructing, mentioned the journey was somber. “It’s scary, it’s so tense — everybody’s crying,” she mentioned.

Exterior the Purple Cross heart, Christina Gonzalez choked again tears as she waited for information of her cousin Michael Rudometkin. She mentioned she left work and rushed to the middle after her brother instructed her that Mr. Rudometkin was among the many individuals who had been shot.

She mentioned she had but to be taught something about her cousin’s situation or the place he was. “I’m simply ready and praying, and hoping he’s OK,” Ms. Gonzalez mentioned.

She mentioned Mr. Rudometkin, who lives in Santa Cruz, was at a union assembly within the morning. “Very proud, cherished his job and simply all the time stood up for everybody’s rights,” she mentioned of her cousin. “He’s simply an excellent individual, so we’re actually hoping this isn’t the place to inform us the unhealthy information.”

By Wednesday night, the county medical expert’s workplace had launched the names of the victims, together with Mr. Rudometkin, 40.

Investigators at the scene of a workplace shooting at the San Jose Valley Transportation Authority’s light rail yard in San Jose.
Credit score…John G Mabanglo/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

As dispatchers and upkeep employees on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s mild rail yard had been getting ready for the beginning of the day’s service, gunshots threw the sprawling municipal advanced close to downtown San Jose into turmoil.

Glenn Hendricks, the authority chairman, referred to as the incident “a horrible tragedy” for its work power of some 2,100 principally unionized staff, who present bus, rail and paratransit service for commuters in a lot of Silicon Valley.

“V.T.A. is a household,” Mr. Hendricks mentioned, his voice quaking. “Everybody within the group is aware of everybody.”

Transit service continued for a number of hours after the taking pictures with out disruption, even because the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Workplace — which is headquartered subsequent door to the rail yard as a part of a sprawling municipal advanced close to downtown San Jose — dispatched deputies to the scene of the taking pictures in a upkeep yard.

“As I drove right here,” Mr. Hendricks mentioned, citing the dedication of the authority staff, “I noticed buses on the street.”

However service on the light-rail system’s three traces was later shut down as the upkeep facility grew to become the scene of an lively investigation. Mr. Hendricks mentioned additional buses can be dispatched to cowl for the canceled trains.

He added that grief counseling can be made out there to employees, together with the 100 or so who had been on the scene when the taking pictures erupted. Sgt. Russell Davis, a spokesman for the sheriff’s workplace, mentioned a number of of the individuals who had been killed had been V.T.A. staff, as was the gunman.

“It is a horrific day for our metropolis,” mentioned the mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, who additionally serves on the V.T.A. board. “And a tragic day for the V.T.A. household.”

The Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass taking pictures as one with 4 or extra individuals injured or killed, not together with the perpetrator, counted at the least 232 mass shootings as of Could 26. (The archive, a nonprofit group, has counted 15 mass murders, which it defines as 4 or extra individuals killed, in 2021.)

There may be little consensus on the definition of a mass taking pictures, complicating the efforts of nonprofits and information organizations to doc the scope of the issue.

The Violence Mission follows the slender definition of the Congressional Analysis Service, requiring the assaults to be in public and excluding home shootings and people “attributable to underlying prison exercise.” CNN has outlined a mass taking pictures as one with 4 or extra accidents or deaths. The Washington Publish’s effort to trace public mass shootings contains shootings with 4 or extra individuals killed, however doesn’t embody robberies or home shootings in personal houses.

This 12 months they’ve included shootings in Atlanta. Indianapolis. Boulder, Colo. Boone, N.C. And now San Jose.

To some, it might need appeared as if mass shootings all however halted throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with a 12 months passing between large-scale shootings in public locations. However the shootings by no means stopped. They only weren’t as public.

The Gun Violence Archive counted greater than 600 such shootings in 2020, in contrast with 417 in 2019.



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