Border officials once found writing by the gunman about how he hated his workplace.


Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times

The municipal transit employee who the police say shot and killed 9 of his colleagues at a rail yard in San Jose was stopped by border officials in 2016, throughout which they searched his luggage and found writings about how he hated the company he labored for, in keeping with an official who described a message that was circulated inside the Homeland Security Department after Wednesday’s capturing.

The gunman, who the authorities stated killed himself and was recognized as Samuel James Cassidy, 57, was stopped by Customs and Border Protection officials in August 2016 as he returned from a visit to the Philippines, the official stated, talking on the situation of anonymity.

In addition to the pocket book with writings about how he hated the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the place he labored, the officials additionally found books about terrorism and manifestoes, the official stated.

The police in California stated on Thursday that they have been nonetheless making an attempt to know what led to the capturing, however that that they had found extra firepower at the scene than that they had initially reported.

Three semiautomatic handguns have been found at the scene, as have been 32 high-capacity magazines which every held a dozen nine-millimeter rounds, stated Deputy Cian Jackson, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. He stated at the least one witness had reported that the gunman advised somebody at the scene that he was not going to harm them, suggesting that he could have chosen his victims.

Detectives have been persevering with to interview witnesses on Thursday to attempt to perceive what had occurred, although a press release from the sheriff’s workplace stated the gunman had been “a highly disgruntled V.T.A. employee for many years.”

“The general vibe we get is that he didn’t like anybody and nobody really liked him,” Deputy Jackson stated in an interview. He added that the police had feared that there was an explosive gadget in the gunman’s locker at work, however that none was found.

He declined to touch upon the report of the 2016 cease by border officials, which was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal. The Homeland Security Department, which incorporates Customs and Border Protection, additionally declined to touch upon the cease and didn’t reply to a query about whether or not the border company had shared info about it at the time.

The gunman had carried out the rampage early on Wednesday morning at the similar time that his home was erupting in flames greater than eight miles away.

Sheriff Laurie Smith advised reporters that primarily based on images of at the least two of the weapons, they seemed to be authorized to purchase in California, although she didn’t say whether or not Mr. Cassidy had bought them legally. Californians voted in 2016 to ban magazines that maintain greater than 10 rounds, as the gunman’s did, however it was blocked from going into impact by a decide after a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association. A authorized battle over the legislation is ongoing.

Sheriff Smith stated the gunman had been “very deliberate” in killing his colleagues at the transit company close to downtown San Jose, and that he had killed himself as deputies rushed into the rail yard from their headquarters subsequent door.

Sheriff Smith stated on NBC’s “Today” present that the hearth at Mr. Cassidy’s home was first reported three minutes after somebody had referred to as 911 to report gunfire at the rail yard, suggesting that he could have set off “some kind of device” to begin the blaze as he opened hearth. She stated investigators had found “explosive materials” at the suspect’s house.

The 9 victims of the capturing have been recognized by the Santa Clara County health worker’s workplace as Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.

Sarabjit Singh, second from right, mourns for his son Taptejdeep Singh, a victim in the shooting on Wednesday.
Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times

Nine employees of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority have been killed in a capturing at the system’s rail yard in San Jose on Wednesday. Here is what we all know about a few of their lives.

Credit…Heather Balleza

Adrian Balleza was described by his spouse, Heather Balleza, as a humble and caring particular person who was liked by many individuals. Now, she wrote over a messaging platform on Thursday morning, his household and mates are heartbroken. Mr. Balleza’s 2-year-old son should spend his years and not using a father. “It still doesn’t feel real,” she wrote.

Mr. Balleza began working at the V.T.A. in 2014 as a bus operator trainee, later changing into a upkeep employee and light-weight rail operator, the authority stated.

Mr. Balleza couldn’t wait till his son was sufficiently old for them to go fishing collectively, Ms. Balleza stated. She was grief-stricken that her husband wouldn’t be capable of watch his son develop up. And her personal world is not complete, she stated.

“The world needs more people like my husband, not one less,” she stated. “He was my night and day. The best father and husband … my forever angel.”

Naunihal Singh, the superintendent of sunshine rail transportation for V.T.A., was Mr. Balleza’s supervisor. He described Mr. Balleza as a “gem of a person” and a “very kindhearted” man who was at all times volunteering to assist manage enjoyable actions for co-workers.

“Words are not enough to justify the pain we’re all going through,” Mr. Singh told reporters on Thursday. “I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m at a loss for words.”

Ed Lane expressed anguish on Wednesday evening over the demise of his brother Lars Lane, who labored as a journeyman lineman for the V.T.A., in keeping with his LinkedIn profile.

“My brother was murdered today,” Mr. Lane stated in an electronic mail. “Not by a gun but by a man that could have been helped.”

Mr. Lane spent a lot of the day ready to seek out out if his brother, who native media retailers reported was a husband and a father, was amongst the victims. He sharply criticized the manner the notification course of was dealt with, along with the renewed name for harder gun management legal guidelines in the aftermath of one other mass capturing.

“I’m tired of the gun control propaganda,” he stated. “Politicians and law enforcement patting themselves on the back leaving my family in the dark for 12 hours. The family assistance was absolutely a front of incompetence.”

Paul Delacruz Megia immigrated to the United States from the Philippines when he was a toddler, in keeping with his father, Leonard Megia. He had two sons, a daughter, and a stepson, and he liked them deeply, his father stated.

They appreciated to take a ship out and go wakeboarding throughout the summer season, his father stated, and in the winter, snowboarding was their favourite exercise.

Mr. Megia had deliberate a visit to Disneyland with his youngsters. They have been scheduled to depart on Thursday.

Credit…Leonard Megia

“He was a wonderful dad,” his father stated. “He’s my son and my best friend.”

Mr. Megia and his father lived in the similar house collectively close to Tracy, Calif., together with his three youngsters. The father and son have been very shut — they loved fishing and spending time in the snow collectively throughout the winter. Mr. Megia was at all times smiling, his father stated, and consistently had a constructive demeanor.

The V.T.A. stated that Mr. Megia had been employed there for 20 years, working his manner up from bus operator trainee to superintendent-service administration. Mr. Megia left house each morning at 4:30 a.m. to get to work on time, however made positive to name his youngsters each single morning to examine in on them earlier than they began college.

“He’s a very loving dad who cared a lot about his children,” his father stated. “They’re going to miss him.”

Mr. Singh, the superintendent of sunshine rail transportation for the V.T.A., shared an workplace with Mr. Megia. He described Mr. Megia as an easygoing supervisor who was widespread with staff.

“Sometimes my demands could be unreasonable, but Paul always accepted it with a smile. He always was willing to help his employees,” Mr. Singh stated. “They seemed to reach out to him for whatever their needs were.”

Taptejdeep Singh, a lightweight rail operator for the V.T.A., was remembered by a cousin as the nicest particular person in his household and a gregarious man who loved taking part in volleyball.

“We are very sad right now,” stated the cousin, Bagga Singh, who was one among greater than a dozen relations ready all day to be taught what had occurred to their relative. Shortly after 6 p.m., they obtained the unhealthy information. Several relations broke down sobbing at a Red Cross facility and have been escorted away.

The demise of Mr. Singh, who was Sikh and moved to the United States from India in 2005, marks the second time in two months that members of the nation’s Sikh group mourned after a mass capturing. In April, four Sikhs were among the eight people killed in a capturing at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis.

Credit…Family picture

Taptejdeep Singh had a spouse and two younger youngsters, Bagga Singh stated, and loved his job at the V.T.A., the place he had been working for eight or 9 years. He additionally had an insurance coverage license and was an actual property agent, Bagga Singh stated.

“He can work anything he wants, very smart guy,” he stated.

Family members stated county officials advised them that Taptejdeep Singh acted heroically when he detected hazard throughout the assault, calling out to his co-workers that pictures have been being fired and rapidly ushering one lady right into a safe room.

“I think he’s the one who tried to save the people, as many as he could,” stated Bagga Singh, who additionally spoke out towards gun violence: “Nobody should have a gun.”

Michael Joseph Rudometkin started working for the V.T.A. in 2013 as a transit mechanic, in keeping with the company. He then grew to become an electro-mechanic and an overhead line employee.

Raul Peralez, a member of the San Jose City Council, referred to as Mr. Rudometkin a “lifelong friend.” He stated that he and his father had been planning a golf outing with Mr. Rudometkin.

“Now that will never happen again,” Mr. Peralez stated on Facebook. “My family and I have lost a long time great friend and there are no words to describe the heartache we are feeling right now, especially for his family.”Mr. Rudometkin was married and is survived by his mother and father and his sister, stated Mr. Peralez, who advised reporters on Thursday that he had met with Mr. Rudometkin’s spouse on Wednesday evening. Mr. Peralez stated he visited with Mr. Rudometkin’s mother and father, sister and brother-in-law Thursday morning.

“I truly feel for all the victims’s families,” he stated. “Personally, my heart is broken.”

Mr. Alaghmandan, an immigrant from Iran, was a substation maintainer who labored at the transit company for about twenty years.

A household pal referred to as him “like a second father of my own.”

Credit…Megan Staker

“He moved his family to the United States so that they could have a better life, which makes this horrific tragedy just all the worse,” stated Megan Staker, whose boyfriend, Soheil, is Mr. Alaghmandan’s son.

“He worked so hard so that his family could have a good life. He was so funny, and kind and loving, and could fix anything. Things will never be the same without him. He brought so much joy and laughter to our lives. To say he will be missed is an understatement. Our hearts are forever broken.”

This briefing will proceed to be up to date as we be taught extra about the victims.

Claudia Padilla, a light rail operator, placed flowers in front of San Jose City Hall to honor her co-workers who were killed in the shooting.
Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times

A pacesetter in a labor group that represents the employees killed at the rail yard in San Jose this week expressed frustration and bewilderment about the gunman’s motives on Thursday.

“No issues that we know of that were red flags — but what is a red flag?” stated Arturo Aguilar, chairman of the California Conference Board of the Amalgamated Transit Union, in an interview on the garden exterior the union’s San Jose workplace. “We are not trained to analyze co-workers.”

Mr. Aguilar stated the union didn’t see patterns by which of his colleagues that Samuel James Cassidy, 57, a upkeep employee for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, selected to shoot. The 9 victims who have been killed on Wednesday got here from varied departments, he stated.

“We don’t know the relationships or the correlations between the victims and the shooter,” Mr. Aguilar stated. “And we will never know.”

The union’s primary process proper now, Mr. Aguilar stated, was consoling members, lots of whom gathered at the union’s workplace on Thursday.

Sheriff Laurie Smith of Santa Clara County speaking at a news conference next to the Valley Transportation Authority rail yard on Wednesday. 
Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times

Investigators don’t but know whether or not the victims of Wednesday’s capturing at a rail yard in San Jose have been particularly focused, they usually haven’t recognized a motive for the gunman, Laurie Smith, the sheriff of Santa Clara County, stated in an interview Thursday morning on NBC’s “Today.”

“What in the world could possibly prompt someone to take this kind of action?” she stated. “We don’t know at this point.”

Officers confronted Samuel James Cassidy, whom California legislation enforcement officials recognized as the gunman, “within a few minutes,” Sheriff Smith stated, suggesting the carnage might have been worse if that they had not arrived rapidly. The sheriff’s workplace headquarters is subsequent door to the rail yard.

Mr. Cassidy carried two semiautomatic handguns and had 11 loaded magazines, she stated, including that police canine at the scene found supplies for bombs in what investigators imagine to be his locker.

Investigators are additionally wanting into how a hearth at Mr. Cassidy’s home was apparently began whereas he was finishing up the assault. The police acquired the first report of pictures fired at 6:34 a.m., and the name reporting the hearth got here in at 6:37 a.m.

“What we’re operating under now, but I’m not sure that this isn’t going to change, is that he set some kind of a device to go off at a certain time, probably to coincide with the shooting,” she stated.

The 9 victims of the capturing have been unfold over two buildings, she stated.

“He was very deliberate, very fast,” she stated. “He knew where employees would be.”

Police officers watched as residents who live near the suspect’s home, center, left the area.
Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Everything was set for an strange day in a suburban nook of southeastern San Jose on Wednesday. Doug Suh had an early golf sport scheduled. Andy and Alice Abad have been getting ready for a morning physician’s appointment. And Anthony Nguyen was, as at all times, set for his every day 9:30 a.m. church service.

But by early afternoon, every resident of the Evergreen neighborhood found in their very own manner that one thing had gone very unsuitable.

Early on Wednesday, Abad watched from his kitchen as a funnel of smoke and flames poured from a house one block away. Suh obtained a name from a pal on the golf course about a person who had killed eight employees at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority rail yard. (It would later become nine.) And Nguyen obtained an identical name from a pal however with a extra disturbing element: “The man who did it was your neighbor,” Nguyen’s pal advised him.

By midday, their neighborhood was swarming with a number of hearth and police automobiles, federal brokers and a boxy blue truck from the San Jose bomb squad. Men with gasoline masks and oxygen tanks stood amid the flashing lights in the cul-de-sacs of what all of them described as a quiet suburban neighborhood that’s house largely to Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants.

Investigators on Thursday morning have been nonetheless piecing collectively the havoc unleashed the day earlier than.

The suspect in the capturing, Samuel James Cassidy, 57, a upkeep employee who had been with the V.T.A. for at the least a decade, lived in a one-story house with white trim and a patchy garden in the Evergreen neighborhood.

Officials stated Wednesday that they believed Cassidy was liable for each setting his house on hearth after which continuing to shoot his colleagues at his workplace, the railway yard eight miles from the place he lived.

Suh, who lives throughout the road from the suspect, scanned via his safety digital camera footage when he returned house from his golf sport. The digital camera captured Cassidy at 5:40 a.m. loading his white pickup truck with a black bag. He was carrying a uniform with reflective stripes.

Nguyen, a retired actual property dealer who has lived in San Jose for the previous 4 a long time, stated he was baffled by what had occurred.

“Everything has been very perfect,” he stated of his neighborhood. “People are nice and quiet here.”

When he noticed flashing lights on the nook of his road on Wednesday, he assumed there had been a visitors accident. Then his pal referred to as with the information about the capturing.

“What about all these families that lost sons and fathers?” Mr. Nguyen requested in his driveway. “I’m so sorry for them. It’s not right. All these broken hearts.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom asked lawmakers to “move beyond the platitudes and the usual rhetoric” that follow mass shootings.
Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times

California has a few of the most progressive gun legal guidelines in the nation and is one among two states to obtain a full A ranking from the Giffords Law Center, which advocates for gun reform. The state requires common background checks for gun homeowners and restrictions on the measurement of magazines, together with different legal guidelines that prohibit the varieties of firearms that an individual can legally buy.

But after a mass capturing on Wednesday that claimed nine lives at a San Jose rail yard, politicians including Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Biden urged lawmakers to take additional motion in legislating firearms. In a statement, Mr. Biden urged Congress to “heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence.”

It is unclear what sort of weapons have been used by the gunman, whose physique was found at the scene, the place he had acquired them, or whether or not they would have met California’s authorized requirements. The state bans the possession of assault weapons, with some exceptions, and bans so-called ghost weapons, that are sometimes assembled by a person and don’t include a serial quantity.

According to the Giffords Law Center, which additionally offers an A ranking to New Jersey, California has the seventh-lowest charge of gun deaths in the nation, and has the most strong system for taking weapons from people who find themselves barred from having them.

At least one among California’s gun legal guidelines is being challenged in court docket. In August 2020, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down a state legislation that banned the possession of magazines that may maintain greater than 10 rounds. In February, nevertheless, the court docket stated it could reconsider that decision.

Law enforcement officers in the light rail yard in San Jose where a gunman killed nine people.
Credit…Philip Pacheco/Getty Images

The man recognized by California legislation enforcement officials as the gunman in a mass capturing at a San Jose rail yard on Wednesday lived alone and had a hostile persona, in keeping with interviews with a neighbor and an ex-girlfriend, in addition to a overview of court docket data.

The gunman, Samuel James Cassidy, 57, lived southeast of downtown San Jose, in a suburban neighborhood of cul-de-sacs and palm bushes, public data present. Doug Suh, an actual property agent who lived throughout the road, described Mr. Cassidy, who authorities say appeared to have killed himself, as somebody with a brief mood.

“I was afraid of him,” Mr. Suh stated. “My wife was scared of him, too.”

“He lived alone,” Mr. Suh stated. “I never saw any friends or family. I never saw anyone else going into the house.”

Mr. Suh recalled Mr. Cassidy once lashing out at him when Mr. Suh turned his automobile round in Mr. Cassidy’s driveway. “He yelled, ‘Do not come onto my driveway.’”

Family court docket data present that Mr. Cassidy was married for 10 years earlier than divorcing in 2004. The couple had no youngsters.

In 2009, Mr. Cassidy sought a restraining order towards his former girlfriend, Jingkun Wang, often known as Connie. In court docket filings, he accused her of vandalizing his roommate’s automobile, calling at late hours of the evening, hurling insults and suggesting she had him below surveillance.

Ms. Wang countered that Mr. Cassidy, whom she had dated for a yr, had “major mood swings due to bipolar disorder” which have been exacerbated when he consumed massive portions of alcohol. She additionally accused him of forcing himself on her sexually.

Their relationship failed when he advised her round February 2009 {that a} feminine houseguest had moved in, and that she ought to not come go to.

She denied vandalizing any automobiles, and accused him of stealing objects from eating places and employers, and failing to return her tv and laptop printer.

“He has manipulated me in many ways which are apparent to my friends and family,” she stated.

The court docket ordered Ms. Wang to remain at the least 300 yards from him, his mother and father and his new girlfriend for 3 years.

In a cellphone interview on Wednesday, Ms. Wang, now 58, stated she had not spoken to Mr. Cassidy in 12 years, however described him as somebody who was “not mentally stable,” who could be loving one second and imply the subsequent. She additionally described his ingesting as extreme.

They met on Match.com, Ms. Wang stated. Two months into their relationship, he advised her to select a diamond ring and he would purchase it, she recalled. She declined.

After they broke up, Mr. Cassidy confirmed up at her condominium advanced someday, Ms. Wang stated. A neighbor let him in and he took her brand-new Toyota Camry, for which he had a key, with out permission. He returned it broken from what he advised her was an accident, she stated.

The Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass capturing as one with 4 or extra folks injured or killed, not together with the perpetrator, counted at the least 232 mass shootings as of May 26. (The archive, a nonprofit group, has counted 15 mass murders, which it defines as 4 or extra folks killed, in 2021.)

There is little consensus on the definition of a mass capturing, complicating the efforts of nonprofits and information organizations to doc the scope of the drawback.

The Violence Project follows the slender definition of the Congressional Research Service, requiring the assaults to be in public and excluding home shootings and people “attributable to underlying criminal activity.” CNN has outlined a mass capturing as one with 4 or extra accidents or deaths. The Washington Post’s effort to trace public mass shootings contains shootings with 4 or extra folks killed, however doesn’t embody robberies or home shootings in personal properties.

This yr they’ve included shootings in Atlanta. Indianapolis. Boulder, Colo. Boone, N.C. And now San Jose.

To some, it may need appeared as if mass shootings all however halted throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with a yr passing between large-scale shootings in public locations. But the shootings by no means stopped. They simply weren’t as public.

The Gun Violence Archive counted more than 600 such shootings in 2020, in contrast with 417 in 2019.



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