Gunman, 8 victims dead in San Jose, California shooting
San Jose (AP) – An employee opened fire Wednesday at a California rail yard serving Silicon Valley, killing eight people. The suspect was also dead, authorities said.
Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Russell Davis said the suspect was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which provides bus, light rail and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the largest county in the Bay Area.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said it was “undetermined” how the shooter died.
The shooting took place around 6:30 a.m. at a light rail facility in San Jose next door to the sheriff’s department and across a freeway from the airport. The facility is a transit control center that stores trains and has a maintenance yard.
Davis said the attack resulted in “multiple major injuries” He did not know the type of weapon used or whether the gunfire happened indoors or outdoors. He said the victims included VTA employees. Authorities did not release any of the victims’ names.
Police vehicles and orange crime-scene tape blocked off the area where the shooting happened, and reporters were kept at a distance The rail yard is in the city’s administrative neighborhood, near the sheriff’s office and city and county offices.
Bomb squads were searching the rail complex after receiving information about possible explosive devices inside the building, Davis said.
VTA trains were already out on morning runs when the shooting occurred. Light rail service was to be suspended at noon and replaced with bus bridges, agency Chairman Glenn Hendricks told a news conference.
Two patients were transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to spokesperson Joy Alexiou. One person was pronounced dead upon arrival, and the other was in critical condition.
“These folks were heroes during COVID 19, the buses never stopped running, VTA didn’t stop running. They just kept at work, and now we’re really calling on them to be heroes a second time to survive such a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
The attack was the county’s second shooting in less than two years. A gunman killed three people before killing himself at a popular garlic festival in Gilroy in July 2019.
At a news conference, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo lamented the “horrific day for our city.” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet that his office was “in close contact with local law enforcement and monitoring this situation closely.”
Agents from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding to the crime scene, officials said.