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An employee opened fire Wednesday in a California train yard that serves Silicon Valley, killing eight people. The suspect was also dead, authorities said.
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s spokesman Russell Davis said the suspect was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which provides buses, light rail, and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the county’s largest. large of the Bay Area.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said she was “undetermined” how the shooter died.
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The shooting took place around 6:30 a.m. at a light rail facility in San Jose next to the sheriff’s department and across a freeway from the airport. The facility is a traffic control center that stores trains and has a maintenance yard.
Davis said the attack resulted in “multiple serious injuries.” He did not know the type of weapon used or whether the shots occurred indoors or outdoors. He said the victims included VTA employees. Authorities did not release the names of the victims.
Police vehicles and orange crime scene tape blocked the area where the shooting occurred, and journalists kept their distance. The train yard is in the city’s administrative neighborhood, near the sheriff’s office and the city and county offices.
Bomb squads were searching the railway complex after receiving information about possible explosive devices inside the building, Davis said.
VTA trains were already leaving on morning runs when the shooting occurred. Light rail service would be suspended at noon and replaced with bus bridges, agency president Glenn Hendricks said at a news conference.
Samuel Cassidy attacked San Jose’s
Samuel Cassidy attacked the San Jose VTA light rail facility on West Younger Avenue near the airport around 6:30 a.m. local time during a union meeting and then committed suicide, according to the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office and local NBC station.
Cassidy, believed to be in her 50s, was a VTA employee, the network reported.
The outlet reported that the gunman set his own home on fire before driving to the facility and there are eight deaths, but it is unclear if that number includes the shooter.
Two patients were transferred to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to spokeswoman Joy Alexiou. One person was pronounced dead upon arrival and the other was in critical condition.
Off the scene, Michael Hawkins told The Mercury News that he was waiting for his mother, Rochelle Hawkins, who had called him from a co-worker’s phone to assure him that he was safe.
When the shooting started, he “got off with the rest of his co-workers” and dropped his cell phone, Michael Hawkins told the newspaper. Rochelle Hawkins did not see the attacker and was not sure how close she had been to the attacker, her son said.
The attack was the county’s second shooting in less than two years. A gunman killed three people before committing suicide at a popular garlic festival in Gilroy in July 2019.
At a press conference, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo lamented the “terrible day for our city.”