San Jose, CA

San Jose rail yard gunman Samuel Cassidy detained by US Customs but local authorities never notified

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

San Jose Valley Transit Authority employee Samuel Cassidy had been detained by US Customs authorities after he was found with books about terrorism with writings detailing his deep hatred for his employer. That happened in 2016 when he was returning from the Philippines but neither his employer nor local authorities were notified about concerns that Cassidy was dangerous.

According to a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Cassidy possessed “books about terrorism and fear and manifestos…as well as a black memo book filled with lots of notes about how he hates the VTA.”

In an interview with KGO-TV reporter Dan Noyes, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said, "There's no indication that Homeland Security shared that information from 2016 with anyone in local law enforcement. It was not shared with the DA's office, certainly, that is the kind of information that may be useful to law enforcement."

Amalgamated Transit Union President John Courtney told KGO. "I wish to make it crystal clear that the ATU Local 265 officials who were at the site of this unfathomable tragedy were not, repeat not, there to attend any disciplinary or Skelly Rights hearings or to respond to any jobsite or racial-oriented complaints."

As previously reported, the Santa 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.

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

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