Eight Killed In Mass Shooting Hitting California
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – A transit worker opened fire and killed eight people before taking his own life at a train yard in California, prompting the U.S. state’s governor to ask: “What the hell is wrong with us?”
Multiple victims were also wounded in Wednesday’s attack at the light-rail compound of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in San Jose, just south of San Francisco.
The bloodshed shaking the heart of Silicon Vally, the global innovation and technology hub, came amid an increase in mass killings in a nation emerging from coronavirus restrictions.
“What the hell is wrong with us, and when are we going to come to grips with this?” said California Governor Gavin Newsom at a press conference, where he praised the swift response of law enforcement
Authorities did not yet offer a possible motive for the latest gun violence but suggested that the gunman burned his own house before he carried out the deadly attack.
Officials said the dead include several transit employees and the gunman, who was identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy. A man who was among the wounded is in critical condition at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to spokesperson Joy Alexiou.
The attack occurred as VTA dispatchers and maintenance workers prepared for the start of the day’s service. “When our deputies went through the door, initially, he was still firing rounds. When our deputy saw him, he took his life,” recalled Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith. Deputies “were going through hallways saying, ‘Sheriff’s office!’ He knew at that time that his time for firing shots was over,” he told reporters.
The shooting hit a key transport system as the VTA provides bus, light rail, and other transit services throughout California’s Santa Clara County, the most populated county in the San Francisco Bay Area. The VTA site impacted by the shooting includes a transit-control center, parking for trains, and a maintenance yard.
Buildings were evacuated as bomb squad teams scoured the area for explosives. The bloodshed occurred some 13 kilometers (eight miles) outside the suspect’s home, which caught fire, officials said.
US President Joe Biden called the incident a “horrific tragedy” and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff, saying: “There are at least eight families who will never be whole again.”
The attack added to a recorded 232 mass shootings in the United States this year alone, prompting Biden to call for stricter gun laws.
“Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.”
He made the statement as anxious families of employees waited at a county building for word about their relatives’ safety. “This is a very dark moment for our city and our community,” stressed San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Many of those killed or wounded were essential workers who had “helped us get through this horrific pandemic” by keeping public transport operating, he added.
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