San Jose Shooting Victims Identified As Nine Killed in VTA Yard Massacre
The victims of a shooting at the Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) building have been identified by officials.
The Santa Clara County coroner named the nine people killed by a gunman Wednesday morning as Alex Ward Fritch, Paul Delacruz Megia, Taptejdeep Singh, Adrian Balleza, Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, Timothy Michael Romo, Michael Joseph Rudometkin, Abdolvahab Alaghmandan and Lars Kepler Lane.
“The staff and leadership of the Medical Examiner-Coroner and the entire county of Santa Clara leadership want to express their deepest condolences to the families and individuals impacted by this senseless tragedy,” the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office added in a statement.
While responding the to shooting, Santa Clara County Sheriff deputies also found one other injured person, who was later taken to hospital in a critical condition
Many of the victims were longtime employees at the transit agency, including one who had worked there since 1999.
Taptejdeep Singh’s cousin, Bagga Singh, said the 36-year-old worked as a light-rail train driver for eight or nine years and leaves behind a wife and two small children.
“We heard that he chose the people to shoot, but I don’t know why they chose him because he has nothing to do with him,” he told NBC.
San Jose City Councilman Raul Peralez also revealed that Rudometkin was a close friend of his, and they were planning an upcoming golf trip.
“There are no words to describe the heartache we are feeling right now, especially for his family,” Peralez wrote on Facebook.
“It has been personally tough to find the right words and I will be spending some much needed time amongst family and friends tonight,” Peralez added.
A Facebook tribute for Megia described the 42-year-old as a “ray of sunshine.” Melissa Santos Poquiz added: “My heart is broken for your kids and family. Rest easy and thank you for the memories.”
Police said the gunman, identified as Samuel J. Cassidy, 57, opened fire at around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday. He later took his own life at the light rail hub.
Cassidy was reported to be a VTA maintenance worker. Police have so far been unable to determine a possible motive for the shooting.
Cassidy is alleged to have set fire to his home Angmar Court before carrying out the shooting.
“It would appear as if the fire was set as the shooter was on his way to the worksite,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
In a further statement, Liccardo paid tribute to the victims who were killed as they started work.
“This is a dark moment for our city and our community but we have already seen how people are already pulling together in this very tough time,” Liccardo said.
“Today is about comforting the families and reassuring our community but, make no mistake, we will take action.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom also paid respects to the victims of “yet another horrific act of gun violence.”
He added: “We are resolved to bring meaning to this tragic moment with real action to curb the gun violence crisis in our country. We must address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.
“My Administration continues to work closely with local and state law enforcement as we monitor the situation and we thank our courageous first responders for their lifesaving actions.”
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office have been contacted for an update.
Published at Thu, 27 May 2021 08:25:22 +0000
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