California law enforcement officials are still piecing together clues in search of a motive for the mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose on Wednesday morning that left nine dead, including the gunman.* Police were notified of shots being fired at 6:34 a.m. local time at the public transit service that operates bus and light rail in the region and have identified 57-year-old VTA employee Samuel James Cassidy as the shooter. Cassidy, who worked in maintenance and had been employed by the VTA for more than a decade, showed up at work Wednesday morning as the midnight shift and dayshift employees overlapped and shot and killed eight people in the maintenance yard of the rail yard before shooting himself.
Police identified the victims 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. Some of the victims were confirmed co-workers at the VTA, which employs 2,000 people, but it’s unclear if all were workers at the public transportation depot. In the aftermath of the shooting, a bomb squad scoured the area for bombs after a dog detected the presence of explosive material. Light rail service was suspended for the day.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said co-workers had been worried about the shooter and “expressed generalized concerns about his mental health.” Neighbors described being fearful of the 57-year-old who was the only one they ever saw coming and going from his house. Former partners described an unstable man, prone to violent mood swings, who expressed contempt for his job and bosses. Surveillance video of the shooter’s house taken Wednesday morning showed a man believed to be the gunman leaving with a duffel bag. Police say more than one gun was used during the shooting. Soon after, a fire was reported at the shooter’s home that left the structure uninhabitable.
Correction, May 27, 2021: This post originally misstated that San Jose is in Southern California.