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Gunman Kills 8, Self in Mass Shooting at San Jose Light-Rail Facility

The mass shooting --- the 231st in the United States since Jan. 1 --- occurred next to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

SAN JOSE, Calif. --- A man who worked for a transportation agency in San Jose, California, shot and killed eight of his co-workers early Wednesday morning before turning the gun on himself. 

Authorities identified the gunman as Sam Cassidy on Wednesday afternoon. None of the victims have been identified pending notification of family members.

“The suspect is a VTA employee,” said Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office spokesman Russell Davis.  

One person is in critical condition at a local hospital, authorities said Wednesday afternoon.

The bomb squad went through buildings at the scene of the shooting, a light-rail yard just north of downtown San Jose. There was also a fire at the gunman’s home, but authorities were unsure if it was connected to the shooting. 

Authorities declined to provide a motive for the shooting on Wednesday. 

The gunman was found dead after authorities arrived at the scene and police did not exchange gunfire, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Victims include employees of the Valley Transportation Authority, according to the sheriff’s office. 

The light-rail facility is adjacent to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and across the freeway from the San Jose International Airport. 

Glenn Hendricks, chairman of the VTA board, said the shooter did not penetrate the operational control part of the facility but stayed out in the railyard. 

“It was a horrible tragedy,” Hendricks said. “It’s difficult for everyone to wrap their heads around and understand what has happened.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo --- who tweeted his support for the victims and their families earlier in the day --- said his office is working on protocols to ensure mass shootings of this nature do not occur in the future. 

“Our hearts are pained for the families of those we have lost in this horrific shooting,” Liccardo said. 

Other politicians released statements about yet another mass shooting incident in America. 

“Our mass shooting epidemic continues to give rise to unimaginable heartbreak and loss,” said California state Senator Dave Cortese, D-San Jose.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez noted the employees of the VTA worked tirelessly through the pandemic. 

“These folks were heroes during Covid-19,” she said. “The buses never stopped running, the trains never stopped running.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the flags lowered to half staff in honor of the victims. 

"I feel like this happens over and over and over again," Newsom said at a press conference. "It begs the question: What the hell is going on in the United States of America?”

Newsom also released a statement Wednesday saying his administration intends to “address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.”

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