SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The man who shot and killed eight people at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail yard Wednesday was identified as Samuel Cassidy, 57, a San Jose resident and VTA employee.
Cassidy died at the scene of the mass shooting at the Guadalupe maintenance yard at 101 W. Younger Ave. Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputy Russell said it’s believed Cassidy took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound since responding officers did not exchange gunfire with him.
Cassidy had worked for Valley Transportation Authority since at least 2012, according to the public payroll and pension database Transparent California, first as a mechanic from 2012 to 2014, then as someone who maintained substations.
Cassidy earned more than $114,000 in regular and overtime pay along with an additional $46,000 in benefits in 2019, according to public records.
He was listed as the owner of a home on the 1100 block of Angmar Ct. in the Ramblewood neighborhood of South San Jose, which caught fire around the same time as the VTA shooting. After the fire was extinguished, police and federal agents reportedly found explosives and gasoline at the home and people living in a one-block radius around the home were evacuated as bomb squad technicians” went through the home.
The San Jose Fire Department said in a statement the damage to the home was “heavy” and that the home was left uninhabitable.
Doug Suh, a neighbor of Cassidy’s who has lived across the street for the past two decades, described him as “mean” and untalkative, saying he and his wife tried to avoid interactions with him.
The neighbor said Cassidy lived by himself and would head to work at 5 a.m. every day.
The neighbor added that Cassidy came out of his house once when the neighbor had backed into his driveway to make a turn, telling the neighbor to get off his property.
Suh provided KPIX with surveillance video that showed a man — presumably Cassidy — leaving the home at around 5:40 a.m. Thursday morning with a duffel bag.
According to Suh, a short time later, he looked outside and saw a huge plume of smoke rising from Cassidy’s home.
At an afternoon press conference, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen refused to utter Cassidy’s name.
“I’m not going to confirm that,” he responded when reporters asked him to confirm the gunman’s name. “I feel like I’ve seen it so many places that you have confirmed it. Part of why just confirm it is I, I don’t want to bring more publicity to the person who did this by saying the person’s name. Because
I don’t want to give more recognition to someone like this.”
He said when asked about the murder weapons — “There were multiple guns, but not a ghost gun.”
According to the Associated Press, Sam Cassidy’s ex-wife revealed that the suspect had a bad temper and would tell her that he wanted to kill people at work.
She told the AP she never believed him until now.
According to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Cassidy was seen working at the light rail yard before the shooting, and said it was clear the victims knew the shooter well.
There was no word on a motive in the shooting.