The suspect was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which provides bus, light rail and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the most populated county in the Bay Area, authorities said.
The attacker was identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, according to two law enforcement officials. Investigators offered no immediate word on a possible motive.
The shooting took place around 6:30 am at a light rail facility that includes a transit-control centre, parking for trains and a maintenance yard.
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Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Russell Davis said the attack also resulted in “multiple major injuries.” He did not know the type of weapon used. He said the victims included VTA employees. Authorities did not release any of the victims’ names.
“These folks were heroes during Covid-19. The buses never stopped running, VTA didn’t stop running. They just kept at work, and now we’re really calling on them to be heroes a second time to survive such a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said it was his understanding the shooting happened inside the VTA building during a morning meeting.
“A horrible tragedy has happened today, and our thoughts and love go out to the VTA family,” VTA Chairman Glenn Hendricks told a news conference.
Officials were also investigating a house fire that broke out shortly before the shooting, Davis said. Public records show Cassidy owned a two-story home where firefighters responded Wednesday morning.
Cassidy had worked for the VTA since at least 2012, according to the public payroll and pension database known as Transparent California. His position from 2012 to 2014 was listed as a mechanic. After that, he was a substation maintainer, the records said.
The attack was the county’s second shooting in less than two years. A gunman killed three people before killing himself at a popular garlic festival in Gilroy in July 2019.
US is suffering from an epidemic of gun violence: White House
White House is monitoring the situation in San Jose, said principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at a presser on Wednesday.
The White House statement said that the US is suffering from an epidemic of gun violence “both in mass shootings and in the lives that are being taken in daily gun violence that doesn’t make national headlines”.
“That’s why President Joe Biden has already taken an initial set of actions on gun violence that will save lives and that’s why he’s calling on Congress to take action including calling on the Senate to pass the three bills to strengthen background checks that have already cleared the House with bipartisan support, and which have the overwhelming backing of the American people,” said Jean-Pierre.
(With inputs from agencies)