Here’s what we know about the San Jose rail yard shooting

Eight miles away, authorities are looking into the gunman’s home that went up in flames.

The gunman is dead, according to Deputy Russell Davis of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Davis said authorities are unaware of a motive at this time.

What happened?

Authorities received 911 calls at about 6:34 a.m. PT saying there were shots fired near a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) control center, a hub that stores multiple light rail trains and a maintenance yard, Davis said.

At least 8 dead after shooting at public transit rail yard in San Jose, California

VTA Board Chairperson Glenn Hendricks clarified later that the shooting occurred in the rail yard — not the operations control center — at a time when light rail was starting up for the day. The yard is where the VTA vehicles are maintained and dispatched.

The shooting took place during a shift change when employees from the midnight shift and the day shift overlapped, Davis said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies and fire department personnel responded to the incident using their “active shooter protocol,” Davis said.

Bomb-sniffing dogs on the scene have detected possible explosives at the facility and are searching the building, Davis said.

Light rail service will be suspended for the day as of noon, the VTA said, as the crime scene investigation has limited its ability to provide service. The VTA is a public transit service that operates bus and light rail services in the Santa Clara Valley and employs about 2,000 workers.

Who was the gunman?

The gunman has been identified as Sam Cassidy, a source close to the investigation tells CNN.

Cassidy was a VTA employee, according to Davis.

Davis said deputies did not exchange gunfire with Cassidy, and it is believed he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“I know for sure that when the suspect knew the law enforcement was there, he took his own life, our deputies were right there at that time,” said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.

Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen said multiple guns were used in the shooting, but he did not specify the types of weapons used in the shooting or whether they were obtained legally. He did say they were not considered to be untraceable “ghost guns.”

Cassidy’s ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told CNN affiliate the Bay Area News Group he resented his work. Nelms was married to Cassidy for about 10 years until the couple filed for divorce in 2005. She has not been in touch with her ex-husband for about 13 years, according to the outlet.

He often spoke angrily about his co-workers and bosses, and at times directed his anger at her, Nelms told the outlet.

When the two were married, Cassidy “resented what he saw as unfair work assignments” and “would rant about his job when he got home.”

Who are the victims?

VTA employees were among the victims who range in age from 29 to 63.

The Santa Clara County office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner identified the victims:

  • Paul Delacruz Megia, age 42
  • Taptejdeep Singh, age 36
  • Adrian Balleza, age 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, age 35
  • Timothy Michael Romo, age 49
  • Michael Joseph Rudometkin, age 40
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, age 63
  • Lars Kepler Lane, age 63

One person who was injured remains in critical condition, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

“It’s clear the victims and all the colleagues knew the shooter well,” Mayor Sam Liccardo told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

The pandemic's essential workers are again the victims of a mass shooting -- this time in San Jose

The victims were working at a light rail maintenance facility. Liccardo described the victims as “essential workers” who risked their lives and showed up every day throughout the pandemic.

While the names of the victims have not been released, Liccardo said he has spoken to three families.

Rosen, the DA, said officials are still working to notify the families of the victims, but he expects all notifications will be complete by the end of the day.

Where did the shooting take place?

The VTA rail yard is located in San Jose, which is in California’s Bay Area. The city is about 52 miles southeast of San Francisco.

There are multiple active scenes connected to the investigation into the shooting, according to San Jose Fire spokeswoman Erica Ray.

Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California.

A fire broke out at Cassidy’s home, about 8 miles away from the shooting scene, Mayor Liccardo told CNN affiliate KGO. No one was found inside, Liccardo said.

Liccardo did not specify the exact location, but tweets from the San Jose Fire Department state that firefighters responded to a fire at the home in the 1100 block of Angmar Court in San Jose at 6:36 a.m. local time.

Emergency responders leave a home being investigated in connection to a shooting at a Santa Clara VTA facility, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California.

rThe first 911 calls about the shooting at the VTA facility began at 6:34 a.m., sheriff’s officials said.

It took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the two-alarm fire that caused heavy damage to the home and left the structure uninhabitable, the fire department said.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) are assisting the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department deploy a robot at the parking lot of the VTA Light Rail Facility, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California.

The FBI is helping with evidence, response and recovery, according to Craig Fair, special agent in charge of the San Francisco division of the FBI. The agency will provide ballistics, technical forensic equipment and analysis, along with additional personnel to help analyze the “very sizable crime scene,” Fair said.

The ATF has brought in five bomb-sniffing dogs to assist in the search for any potential explosives. The agency is also providing investigative resources to trace firearms and ballistics evidence in an effort to link it to other firearm crimes that might be involved, said Joshua Jackson, ATF Special Agent in Charge.

CNN’s Jon Passantino, Eric Levenson, Stella Chan, Paul P. Murphy and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.

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