San Francisco, May 27 (EFE).- The death toll in the mass shooting in San Jose, California, on Thursday rose to 10 – including the shooter – when one of the critically wounded died in the hospital.
Police are continuing to investigate the motives that led Samuel J. Cassidy, 57, to open fire on his workmates at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) control center and maintenance yard in the center of the city roughly 80 km (50 mi.) south of San Francisco.
But accounts from survivors of Wednesday’s shooting revealed that Cassidy apparently had specific issues with the people he attacked and selected his victims before taking his own life.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said at a press confeence that, in at least one case, Cassidy addressed one of his workmates and said “I’m not going to shoot you.”
Smith also revealed that the suspect fired 39 times after going to his workplace armed with two semi-automatic pistols and 11 ammunition clips.
The victims were going about their work at the rail yard, including performing maintenance on light train cars, and the suspect was employed there as a technician.
All of the victims were VTA employees.
Police received the first call reporting the shootings at 6:34 am on Wednesday just as the workshift was changing, where the night shift workers were leaving and morning shift was arriving.
Officers arrived at the scene after receiving word of the shootings and did not fire a single shot, but they cornered the assailant and were able to observe him take his own life with one shot.
Just before he went to his workplace, the suspect had prepared a delayed-action time bomb at his home in San Jose which he used to create a fire just at the time when he was carrying out the massacre.
Cassidy’s ex-wife told local media that decades ago he had threatened to kill people with whom he worked.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered the country’s flags to fly at half-staff in tribute to the dead and in a statement said he regretted having to issue such an order once again just “a few weeks” after deadly mass shootings in other parts of the country.
VTA provides bus, light rail and other transit services in Santa Clara County, which has the highest population of any county in the San Francisco Bay Area.