At least eight people were killed and one injured during a California mass shooting in San Jose where a transit employee opened fire at coworkers before committing suicide on Wednesday, marking the latest incident of a deadly mass shooting in the United States.
California State Governor Gavin Newsom expressed his shock after hearing about the incident, saying, “What the hell is wrong with us?” Authorities did not reveal information if there was a known motive for the crime.
The incident occurred at around 6L30 a.m. at a light-rail yard for commuter trains of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Officials deployed a bomb squad to the scene of the crime who searched the yard and adjacent buildings after they found at least one explosive device.
When deputies arrived at the scene after witnesses reported gunfire, the suspect quickly shot himself and took his own life, Sheriff Laurie Smith said. She said she was grateful to her deputies who were quick to respond to the crime.
Newsom, accompanied by Smith and other San Jose officials, criticized the surge and deadliness of gun violence in the United States. “There is a sameness to this and that numbness, I think, is something that we are all feeling. 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?” he said.
Officials revealed the suspect, the eight dead victims, and the one injured victim were all employees of the transit agency located near San Jose’s airport. Authorities have not yet revealed the identity of the gunman.
However, several news media outlets have identified the suspect as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy who was a maintenance worker at the yard. They said the gunman had worked with the transit authority since at least 2012.
Records showed Cassidy had a salary of $102,000 last year, plus benefits, and $20,000 in overtime pay. He was reported to have had a wife for 10 years before getting divorced in 2009 who had little contact with him in the last 10 years, Inquirer reported.
“A horrible tragedy has happened today and our thoughts and love go out to the VTA family,” Chairman of the VTA board Glenn Hendricks said during an interview. He said the incident occurred in a section of the yard where vehicles were maintained.