The victims, who ranged from ages 29 to 63, were identified by the Santa Clara County office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner 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; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
The VTA is a public transit service that operates bus and light rail services in the Santa Clara Valley and employs about 2,000 workers.
Wednesday’s incident was the 232nd shooting in which at least four people were shot in the US so far this year, according to a tally by the Gun Violence Archive.
Another community has been left to make sense of the violence to strike close to home. And once again, investigators are looking into the gunman’s motive, Deputy Russell Davis of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said.
One thing that has become clear is that “the victims and all the colleagues knew the shooter well,” Mayor Sam Liccardo told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Police responded to reports of shots fired
The shooting began just after 6:30 a.m. PT when several 911 calls reported shots fired near a VTA control center, a hub that stores light rail trains and a maintenance yard, Davis said
It happened as employees from the midnight shift and the day shift overlapped, Davis said.
The shooting occurred in the VTA rail yard — not the operations control center — at a time when light rail was starting up for the day, VTA Board Chairperson Glenn Hendricks said. The yard is where the VTA vehicles are maintained and dispatched.
Multiple law enforcement agencies and fire department personnel responded using their “active shooter protocol,” Davis said.
Davis said law enforcement officers didn’t exchange gunfire with the gunman and investigators believe he took his own life.
“I know for sure that when the suspect knew the law enforcement was there, he took his own life, our deputies were right there at that time,” Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith. The deputies were there quickly because the sheriff’s office is next door, she added.
Smith said deputies and San Jose police officers ran into a building as the shooting was continuing “and I know that it saved many lives.”
Smith said the victims worked together and were there in the morning together.
The gunman has been identified as Sam Cassidy, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to CNN.
Two of the victims were transported to a hospital and six others remained in the building as of Wednesday evening as the crime scene was processed, Smith told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
The body of the suspect was moved from where he shot himself in an attempt to administer medical aid and was on a street Wednesday evening, Smith said.
Multiple guns were used in Wednesday’s deadly mass shooting in San Jose, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said at a news conference.
Rosen did not specify the types of weapons or whether they were obtained legally, but said they were not considered to be untraceable “ghost guns.”
“I know that for many of the families, and some of whom I’ve talked to, when they said goodbye to their spouse this morning, their husband, they didn’t mean goodbye forever. They meant goodbye until dinnertime, and I’m just so sorry,” Rosen said.
Surveillance video shows a man leaving the suspect’s house
The gunman’s ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told CNN affiliate the Bay Area News Group he resented his work. Nelms was married to Cassidy for about 10 years until the couple filed for divorce in 2005. She has not been in touch with her ex-husband for about 13 years, according to the outlet.
He often spoke angrily about his co-workers and bosses, and at times directed his anger at her, Nelms told the outlet.
When the two were married, he “resented what he saw as unfair work assignments” and “would rant about his job when he got home.”
Surveillance video obtained by CNN shows a man leaving the home of the shooting suspect on Wednesday morning with a duffle bag.
A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said the video was captured around 5:40 a.m. and showed Cassidy leaving the house in a truck. The neighbor described Cassidy as a “quiet” and “strange” man.
CNN has reached out to the sheriff’s office to see if investigators have seen and are aware of this video.
The neighbor later noticed a fire broke out at Cassidy’s home around 6:30 a.m.
Licardo said in an interview with CNN affiliate KGO that a fire was reported at the home of the gunman. No one was found inside the home, he said.
Firefighters responded at a home in the 1100 block of Angmar Court in San Jose at 6:36 a.m. local time, according to tweets from the San Jose Fire Department. The time was just minutes after police were called about the shooting at the VTA facility, about 8 miles away.
It took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the two-alarm fire, which caused heavy damage and left the structure uninhabitable, the fire department said.
CNN’s Jon Passantino, Sarah Moon, Eric Levenson, Stella Chan, Cheri Mossburg, Paul P. Murphy, Josh Campbell, Steve Almasy, Dan Simon and DJ Judd contributed to this report.