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American News May 26, 2021 5:48 PM EST

San Jose shooter identified, allegedly burned down his house before starting spree

Santa Clara Sheriff's office provided updates to a mass shooting this morning.

San Jose shooter identified, allegedly burned down his house before starting spree
Brendan Boucher Ottawa, ON

Santa Clara Sheriff's office provided updates to a mass shooting this morning.

This morning at 6:34 am reports of shots being fired at a Valley Transit Authority (VTA) control centre was received Sheriff's office officials. Officials have confirmed 9 dead, including the suspect who shot himself. At the press conference the sheriffs office also stated there is one person in hospital in critical condition.

New details have emerged that suggests the suspect began shooting during an early morning union meeting at the facility. The suspect has been identified as 57-year-old Samuel J. Cassidy. According to fire department sources, the suspect set fire to his own home before heading to work that day. The fire was reported at 6:36am. Cassidy reportedly has a history of domestic violence and is divorced. Documents show that Cassidy was a VTA employee and had a base salary of over $160 000.

In the 1:30 pm PST press conference, Sheriff's deputy Russell Davis told reporters that the shooting took place next door to Sheriff's office headquarters. Sheriff Laurie Smith confirmed that deputies did not exchange gunfire with the suspect but there was "active shooting" when the deputies entered the building. The gunshot wound that ended his life was self inflicted according to officials.

Davis said there was no information on motive at this time nor whether the people who were killed were specifically targeted. Davis also would not confirm if any victims were found in the burnt out home of Cassidy.

The sheriffs office confirmed that there was explosive devices found at the rail yard and the ATF confirmed they had deployed five explosive detection dogs. Deputy Davis said, "We had an explosives dogs on scene that indicated to some explosive materials" and in response to that the sheriffs office "activated {the} bomb squad."

Governor Gavin Newsom appeared at the press conference where his spoke on the "sameness" he feels about this mass shooting and how these shootings occur in "any-town, USA." Newsom asked "What the hell is going on in the United States?" and attacked "the stale rhetoric, finger pointing, hand raising and consternation" which he says accomplishes nothing in the wake of mass shootings.

Light rail service will be suspended for "several days" according to VTA president Genn Hendricks. Hendricks previously got emotional describing the family reunification centre and the impact on the "VTA family." Hendricks announced that families have been moved to a Red Cross facility to continue to receive support.

Also at the press conference was San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo who echoed the "family" nature of all Santa Clara county employees. Sheriff Smith closed the press conference by emphasizing that deputy sheriffs and San Jose police officers "ran into the building while shots were being fired and I know that it saved many lives."

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