A Sikh man was among the eight people killed in a mass shooting on May 26 at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail yard in San Jose, California.
According to a media briefing, San Jose police responded around 6.30am to reports of an active shooter at the VTA Guadalupe facility on West Younger Avenue. Deputy Russell Davis, the sheriff’s office spokesman, did not disclose the cause of the gunman’s death.
The Washington Post reported that Sean Webby, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office, said the shooter is believed to have killed himself.
Other reports identified the shooter as Samuel Cassidy, 57, a VTA employee.
Among the victims was Taptej Singh Gill, also a VTA employee.
Bob Dhillon, community leader and founder of the San Jose Gurdwara, told indica News, that Taptej Singh Gill was a resident of Fremont and had recently become a father.
“It’s shocking and sad. He was a young man,” Dhillon said. “I am really sad to see these shootings happening again and again. I don’t know what the shooter’s problem was.”
Santa Clara Vice Mayor Raj Chahal, who also serves at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Policy Advisory Committee, told indica News that the police first identified five bodies and later found three more.
“One of the three people missing was of Sikh descent,” Chahal told indica News.
Chahal said the VTA was a very welcoming workplace and that many people of Sikh descent work there.
“How can you believe so many mass shootings are happening in the US and still there is not a single gun control law,” Chahal said. “Gun control in this country needs action right away.”
The Sikh Coalition tweeted: “Deeply saddened to learn of this morning’s shooting at a San Jose, CA VTA facility. We understand that there are many Sikhs employed at this facility, and the community is in our prayers and our hearts as we work to learn more.”
At the news briefing, Glenn Hendricks, the VTA board chair, expressed his grief, and his condolences to the transport facility team.
“A horrible tragedy has happened today,” he said. “Our thoughts and love go out to the VTA family, the organization and what they’ve had to go through.”
San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo said: “This is a horrific day for our city and a tragic day for our family.”
The rail yard serves as a maintenance facility for the VTA, a transit agency serving Santa Clara County, and employs more than 2,000 people.