SAN JOSE, Calif .– The gunman who killed nine of his co-workers at a California rail yard stored guns and 25,000 rounds in his house before setting it on fire to coincide with the bloodshed in the workplace where it had been boiling for years. , the authorities announced on Friday.
Investigators found 12 guns, several cans of gasoline and suspected Molotov cocktails at Samuel James Cassidy’s home, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
The cache of the house set on fire by the 57-year-old man with a slow-burning device was above the three 9mm handguns he brought to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose on Wednesday. announced the authorities. He also had 32 high capacity magazines, some with 12 rounds, and fired 39 rounds.
The weapons he used to kill his colleagues appear to be legal, officials said. They didn’t say how he got them. Officials did not say what type of weapons they found at his home.
The house was so cluttered with flammable materials that it slowed down the investigation, said San Jose Police Officer Steve Aponte. Teams finished raking it on Friday to make sure it was safe before reopening the cul-de-sac to neighbors. A suspicious package investigators found in the attic turned out to be harmless inert batteries and cables, he said.
Cassidy committed suicide as sheriff’s deputies rushed into the transit rail station in the heart of Silicon Valley, where he shot and killed nine men, aged 29 to 63.
What triggered Cassidy was still being investigated, Aponte said.
While witnesses and Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Cassidy appeared to be targeting certain people, the sheriff’s office said on Friday that “it is clear that this was a planned event and the suspect was ready to use his guns to kill as many lives as he maybe could.
Taptejdeep Singh, the 36-year-old father of a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter, was on an early shift as a streetcar operator when the shooting started. He called another transit worker to warn him, telling him he had to get out or hide.
“From what I heard, he spent the last moments of his life making sure that others – in the building and elsewhere – would be able to stay safe,” said colleague Sukhvir Singh, which is not related to Taptejdeep Singh. in a report.
Singh’s brother-in-law PJ Bath said he was told Singh was killed after meeting the gunman in a stairwell.
“It just happened to be on the way, I guess,” Bath said.
Kirk Bertolet, 64, was just starting his shift when gunshots rang out, then he heard the screams. He and his colleagues threw a table in front of their door and Bertolet called the control center.
Then there was silence.
Cautiously, Bertolet left the barricaded office, hoping to be able to provide first aid. He could not. He saw some of his colleagues take their last breath.
Bertolet, a signal maintenance worker who worked in a unit separate from Cassidy, said he was confident Cassidy targeted his victims because he did not injure some people he encountered.
“He was pissed off at some people. He was angry and he took revenge on very specific people. He shot people. He let the others live, ”he said.
Glenn Hendricks, chairman of the board of the transport company, said he had no information about the tensions between Cassidy and the colleagues he shot dead.
Video footage showed Cassidy calmly walking from building to building with a gym bag full of guns and ammunition to complete the massacre, authorities said.
Cassidy’s ex-wife said he spoke about killing people at work over a decade ago. Cecilia Nelms told The Associated Press he came home from work resentful and angry at what he saw as unfair assignments.
He also spoke of hating his workplace when customs officials arrested him after a trip to the Philippines in 2016, a Biden administration official told the AP.
A note from the Department of Homeland Security said Cassidy also had notes on how he hated the Valley Transportation Authority, the official said. The official saw the note and detailed its contents to the AP, but was not allowed to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the memo.
He does not say why he was arrested by customs officials. He said he had books on “Terrorism, Fear, and the Manifestos”, but when asked if he had any problems with people at work, he said no. The memo notes that Cassidy had a “minor criminal history”, citing a 1983 arrest in San Jose and charges of “the offense of obstructing / resisting a peace officer.”
San Jose Police said in a statement through Mayor Sam Liccardo’s office that they searched for an FBI background on Cassidy and found no evidence of federal arrests or convictions.
“Regardless of this border detention, it did not result in an arrest that appeared on his FBI criminal record, and it was not reported to the SJPD,” the statement said.
Neighbors, acquaintances and an ex-girlfriend described him as lonely, hostile and at times prone to temper tantrums.
Cassidy was hired in 2001, according to the transportation authority. Bertolet said Cassidy worked with victims on a regular basis, but always seemed to be an outsider and perhaps couldn’t stand the coarse humor of his co-workers.
“He was never in the group. He was never accepted by anyone there. He’s always been this guy who never got involved in anything that people did, ”said Bertolet.
Dazio reported from Los Angeles.