The San Jose gunman who slaughtered nine rail-yard coworkers earlier than killing himself was closely armed with two semi-automatic handguns and 11 loaded magazines, authorities mentioned Thursday.
Samuel James Cassidy, 57, entered his office on the Valley Transportation Authority light-rail facility early Wednesday and began capturing, killing folks in two separate buildings, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told NBC’s “Today” present.
“On him at the time were two semiautomatic handguns, and he also had 11 loaded magazines,” Smith mentioned, including it was unclear what number of photographs Cassidy fired throughout his morning rampage. “We still are processing the scene, but I know to be able to reload a semiautomatic handgun is very quick.”
Smith mentioned investigators consider Cassidy went from “building to building” gunning down his coworkers. It’s unclear whether or not he was focusing on particular colleagues, the sheriff mentioned.
“I think that will come up in the investigation, but we’re not certain right now,” Smith mentioned in the course of the almost 5-minute interview.
However, a VTA employee who witnessed the violence believes Cassidy didn’t fireplace indiscriminately.
“I do know that he had a specific agenda and was targeting certain people, he walked by people, let other people live as he gunned down other people,” Kirk Bertolet, a lightweight rail sign maintainer who has labored for the VTA for 12 years, told KGO.
In addition to the handguns, investigators working with Okay-9s found discovered “materials for bombs” and detonator cords inside a locker on the rail yard believed to be Cassidy’s, Smith mentioned.
“Our dogs alerted on probably what is his locker and in it was materials for bombs, detonator cords, the precursors to an explosive,” Smith mentioned. “And I think they also found at least rounds at the house, too.”
A sheriff’s workplace spokesman had mentioned Wednesday that authorities found a number of “explosive devices” inside the ability.
Meanwhile, a hearth broke out at Cassidy’s San Jose dwelling at roughly the identical time that he took his personal life as deputies closed in, Smith mentioned.
“So, he must have had some way to set it, or have someone else do it,” the sheriff mentioned, earlier than including that there’s no proof the gunman had an confederate.
(*2*) Smith mentioned.
Deputies obtained to the mass capturing scene in mere moments, however Cassidy was calculated and appeared to have a plan, Smith mentioned.
“I think he was very deliberate, very fast,” the sheriff continued. “He knew where employees would be. We were there just within a few minutes.”
Smith mentioned investigators are nonetheless working to find out a doable motive in what marked the fifteenth mass capturing nationwide so far in 2021, in keeping with a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.
A complete of 87 folks have been killed in mass shootings this yr.
“We don’t have that information,” Smith mentioned of Cassidy’s motive. “Now obviously we’re looking into that, but what in the world could possibly prompt someone to take this kind of action? We don’t know at this point.”
Detectives had been nonetheless on the scene Thursday processing proof, sheriff officers tweeted early Thursday.
Cassidy’s ex-wife, in the meantime, instructed The Associated Press Wednesday that he had beforehand talked about killing people at work greater than a decade in the past throughout their marriage.
“I never believed him, and it never happened,” Cecilia Nelms mentioned. “Until now.”
Nelms, whose marriage to Cassidy led to 2005, mentioned her former partner “could dwell on things,” including that she hadn’t spoken to him in 13 years.
A vigil for the 9 victims has been scheduled for six p.m. Thursday on the San Jose City Hall plaza, The Mercury News reported.