Updated on 4:55PM, May 26, 2021:
Gov. Gavin Newsom met with family members of VTA employees and called for politicians to take action against gun violence.
“Here we are in the United States of America experiencing something just not experienced anywhere else in the world. There’s a sameness to this. And that numbness, I think is something we’re all feeling,” Newsom said. “But it begs the damn question: What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell’s wrong with us?”
From the White House, President Joe Biden called for Congress to act on gun law reform. He sent his sympathies to the victims’ families in a written statement. He wrote, “There are at least eight families who will never be whole again. There are children, parents, and spouses who are waiting to hear whether someone they love is ever going to come home. There are union brothers and sisters — good, honest, hardworking people — who are mourning their own.”
Updated on 3:50PM, May 26, 2021:
Authorities have confirmed the identity of the suspect, Samuel Cassidy, and his relationship to the victims of the shooting. “It’s clear the victims and all the colleagues knew the shooter well,” San Jose Mayor Liccardo said.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said the victims worked together and were there this morning together. It is unclear the suspect’s motive for shooting his colleagues on Wednesday morning.
When law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, they did not exchange gunfire with the gunman. Investigators believe Cassidy took his own life. It is also unclear if and why Cassidy set fire to his residence before the shooting, and the investigation for explosives in the area is still underway.
Updated on 11:59AM, May 26, 2021:
The suspect of the Wednesday shooting at the San Jose VTA light rail yard has been identified as VTA employee, Samuel Cassidy. His role at VTA is listed as a “substation maintainer.” He killed himself after mass shooting and was pronounced dead by authorities upon their arrival at the scene.
Updated on 11:47AM, May 26, 2021:
On Wednesday morning (5/26), Santa Clara Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of shots fired at the VTA light rail yard in San Jose, California. Several 911 calls were placed around 6:34am, notifying about a shooting that happened at 101 West Younger Ave.
Upon arriving at the scene, deputies learned “that there were multiple victims that were shot,” Deputy Russell Davis said at a press conference this morning.
Eight victims and one suspect have officially been pronounced dead in the morning shooting.
The confirmed suspect was an employee at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
According to Davis, explosive devices were also found on the premises and that a bomb squad is still investigating the premises. The San Jose Fire Department is also investigating a fire at a residential area around the same time as the shooting.
In an interview, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said “today is a day to mourn.”
VTA board chairman Glenn Hendricks, together with Mayor Liccardo, pledged to support the loved ones and co-workers of the victims. Hendricks described the transportation agency as a “family” and said employees “know everyone.”
“This is a terrible tragedy and we will do everything we can to help people get through this,” Hendricks said.
“Our heart pains for the families and the co-workers, because we know so many are feeling deeply this loss of their loved ones and friends,” Liccardo said.
The White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that the White House is “monitoring the situation.” It is not yet confirmed whether or not President Biden has been briefed on the tragic incident.
“The White House is monitoring the situation and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. I know local officials have addressed this publicly, and there is an ongoing investigation as we all know. We will continue to stay in close contact with them and offer any assistance as needed,” Jean-Pierre said during today’s White House press briefing.