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California railroad shooting: Authorities ID all eight victims, Sikh man one of them

Officials have released the names of the shooting victims that includes 36-year-old Taptejdeep Singh and said that the details of the heritage of the victim have not been identified yet.

Published: 27th May 2021 10:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2021 10:29 AM   |  A+A-

Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California. (Photo | AP)

Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California. (Photo | AP)

By Agencies

CALIFORNIA: A Sikh man was among eight people killed during the shooting at a rail yard in San Jose, California. 

Santa Clara County officials have released the names of the shooting victims that includes 36-year-old Taptejdeep Singh.

Singh had worked as a light-rail train driver for eight or nine years and had a wife, two small children, and many family members, said his cousin, Bagga Singh.

“We heard that he chose the people to shoot, but I don’t know why they choose him because he has nothing to do with him," he said. He said he was told that the gunman targeted certain people and let others go.

Apart from Taptejdeep Singh, other victims included -- Paul Delacruz Megia (42), Adrian Balleza (29), Jose Dejesus Hernandez Ill (35), Timothy Michael Romo (49), Michael Joseph Rudometkin (40), Abdolvahab Alaghmandan (63) and Lars Kepler Lane(63).

San Jose City Councilman Raul Peralez said Rudometkin, one of the victims, was a close friend. “There are no words to describe the heartache we are feeling right now, especially for his family,” he wrote on Facebook. “Eight families are feeling this same sense of loss tonight and our entire community is mourning as well.”

Police said that the shooter also died in the incident. The attacker was identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, according to two law enforcement officials. Investigators offered no immediate word on a possible motive.

His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told The Associated Press that Cassidy had a bad temper and would tell her that he wanted to kill people at work, “but I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now.”

Nelms, teary-eyed and shaken by the news, said her ex-husband would come home wound up and angry about things that happened at work. As he talked about it, “he would get more mad,” she said. “He could dwell on things.”

When Cassidy lost his temper, Nelms said there were times she was scared. He was someone who could physically hurt others, she said.

Nelms said they were married for 10 years — Cassidy filed for divorce in 2005 — and had not been in contact for 13 years. She said he had been treated for depression.

Deputy Russell Davis, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office spokesperson announced that the investigation is "ongoing" and cautioned that "the numbers can change."

He said employees at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), the facility where the shooting took place, are among the victims.

Davis also revealed that authorities received information that there are explosive devices located in the building. He said a bomb squad has been activated and is currently on the scene "trying to clear out every room and every crevice of that building."

The VTA control center is a hub that stores a number of trains along with a maintenance yard, and has an indoor and outdoor area, said the Deputy.

Glenn Hendricks, the chairperson of the VTA Board of Directors, noted at an earlier press conference that the shooting occurred on the VTA light rail yard, and not in the facilities operations control center.

According to the Deputy, multiple reports of shots fired came in at around 6:34 am (local time). The San Jose Police Department and Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office tweeted just after 7 am (local time) that officers were on the scene of an active shooting. Authorities requested people stay away from the area, near Younger Avenue and San Pedro Street.

About an hour later, Mayor Sam Liccardo said on Twitter that the shooter was "no longer a threat," adding that several people were being treated for injuries.

His comments came around the same time the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office tweeted "Shooter is down," The Hill reported.

(With inputs from AP and ANI)



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