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Death toll rises to 9 in San Jose construction site shooting

The death toll rose Wednesday night after the morning shooting at a streetcar yard in San Jose, California.

Authorities first said an employee killed eight colleagues and injured several others when he opened fire, but later said a ninth victim died of his injuries after being hospitalized in a critical state.

Officials said the suspect, Sam Cassidy, 57, shot himself in the head as officers approached.

Investigators are trying to determine his motive.

There have been over 60 mass shootings in the United States this month alone.

President Biden called the shooting a “gruesome tragedy” and ordered flags to be hoisted halfway up to honor the victims. In a statement, he said “enough” and urged Congress to take immediate action on gun control legislation.

At the scene, a visibly shaken governor, Gavin Newsom, praised the heroism of first responders and addressed the difficulty of dealing with yet another mass shooting.

“There is a similarity to that,” he said, “and I think numbness is something we all feel.… It begs the question, what is going on in the States? United of America? with us? And when are we going to tackle this? “

Cassidy had worked for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority since at least 2012.

His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told CBS News that “her temper … was one of our biggest problems.”

Still, she said, she was “in shock, because I never thought he would do something like that.”

Nelms told The Associated Press that Cassidy spoke about the murder of people at work over a decade ago. “I never believed it, and it never happened. Until now,” she said.

Workers and family members waited across the street as law enforcement combed the facilities.

Death toll rises to 9 in San Jose construction site shooting
People kiss outside a staging area for workers, family members and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) officials following a mass shooting in one agency stations on May 26, 2021 in San Jose, California

Noah Berger / AP

The victims were between 29 and 63 years old.

Bagga Singh’s cousin, Taptejdeep Singh, was one of them.

“We heard that (the shooter) chose people to shoot, but I don’t know why they chose him because he has nothing to do with him,” Singh told CBS News.

Santa Clara County Police and Sheriff’s Deputies received several 911 calls around 6:30 a.m.

Authorities said about 75 to 80 people were in the facility when the shooting began, just as the shift change for VTA workers was scheduled.

The investigation was complicated after a bomb sniffer dog detected possible explosives at the site. Authorities spent the whole day browsing the facilities to make sure there were no explosive devices at the scene.

Death toll rises to 9 in San Jose construction site shooting
Jaspreet Kaur displays a sign during a vigil at City Hall on May 26, 2021 in San Jose, Calif., Following a mass shooting in the yard of the VTA Light Rail Facility.

Santiago Mejia / Chronicle of San Francisco via Getty Images

The VTA shut down train service at noon as the bomb squad’s search continued. Officials said they did not know when rail service would be restored. The buses ran all day.

“These people were heroes during COVID-19. The buses never stopped running, VTA didn’t stop running. They just kept working, and now we’re really calling them to be heroes a second. times to survive such a terrible terrible tragedy, ”said Cindy Chavez, supervisor of Santa Clara County.

Death toll rises to 9 in San Jose construction site shooting
Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California.

Noah Berger / AP

Cassidy is listed as the owner of a house 13 miles away that caught fire at the time of the shooting.

Fire crews brought the fire under control within hours. Officials say gasoline cans and hundreds of cartridges were found inside the house. Authorities have called some of the items “bomb-making equipment”.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced that there will be a vigil for the victims of the shooting Thursday at 6 p.m. at City Hall Plaza.


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