San Jose, CA

VTA is denies reports that San Jose rail yard gunman Samuel Cassidy had disciplinary hearing scheduled on day of killing

Ed Walsh
San Jose VTA gunman Samuel CassidySanta Clara County Sheriff's Office

The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is denying media reports that have stated that San Jose railyard gunman Samuel Cassidy had a disiplinary hearing scheduled on Wednesday, the same day when he shot and killed nine coworkers before turning the gun on himself.

The VTA releaed the following four questions and answers in an email to reporters on Friday:

  1. "Was Mr. Cassidy scheduled to report for a regular workday on Wednesday, May 26, 2021: Yes.
  2. "Was a disciplinary hearing being held relating to Samuel Cassidy on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 or any other upcoming or prior date: No
  3. "Was there a union meeting or hearing planned for Wednesday, May 26: VTA does not speak for the unions that represent our employees.  Mr. Cassidy was represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265.
  4. "Did Samuel Cassidy say or do anything that made employees fearful or uneasy? We are reviewing all VTA records that pertain to Mr. Cassidy and we hope to be able to release more information as soon as we are able."

As previously reported, the Santra Clara County Sheriff's office reports that on Wednesday morning at approximately 6:34AM, dispatchers received a call of an active shooter at a Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) building located at 101 West Younger Avenue in San Jose.

In an updated press release Thursday afternoon, the Santa Clara Sheriff's Office Sheriff’s Office noted that detectives and FBI Investigators were on scene of the incident and processing evidence. On Thursday, the sheriff's office also released a surveillance video that shows Cassidy walking across the rail yard to kill more victims. That video can be seen in this link.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner released the identities of the victims as: Paul Delacruz Megia (42), Taptejdeep Singh (36), Adrian Balleza (29), Jose Dejesus Hernandez III (35), Timothy Michael Romo (49), Michael Joseph Rudometkin (40), Abdolvahab Alaghmandan (63), Lars Kepler Lane (63).

During the early response of this incident, deputies and fire personnel were able to rescue one victim from the scene and immediately transport them to a local trauma centerhospital for treatment. That victim, identified as Alex Fritch (49), died to his injuries and was pronounced deceased late Wednesday evening. All ten people who died, including the suspect, were VTA employees.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner identified the suspect as Samuel James Cassidy, 61. Sheriff’s Office Detectives says they located three semi-automatic handguns (9mm) at the scene, which included 32 individual high capacity handgun magazines loaded with additional ammunition. Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigators and the FBI Evidence Response Team are utilizing high tech equipment to document the crime scene to ensure a full and thorough investigation is completed, according to a statement released from Santa Clara County on Thursday.

Both Cassidy's ex-girlfriend and his ex-wife told reporters that Cassidy often complained about his job, his boss and coworkers. He ex-girlfriend filed a temporary restraining order against Cassidy in 2009 saying she was a victim of domestic violence.

The video released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office shows Cassidy after his first round of shooting walking across the rail yard to kill more victim. The FBI says there are five separate scenes that they are carefully reviewing, including Cassidy's house which he torched before the shooting.

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