At least 8 killed in San Jose shooting

By Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0201 GMT (1001 HKT) May 27, 2021
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6:29 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

California governor expresses frustration over gun violence: "What the hell is wrong with us?"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images
Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed frustration over the trend of mass shootings in the United States at a news conference following today's deadly shooting at a San Jose light rail yard.

"There is a numbness, I imagine, some of us are feeling about this because there's a sameness to this, you know anywhere, USA. It just feels like it happens over and over and over again. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat," Newsom said.

Newsom recalled past mass shooting incidents that occurred in his state including, the Gilroy Garlic festival shooting and the San Bernardino shooting.

"You know, pick a state. And here we are in the United States of America where we are experiencing something that is just not experienced anywhere else in the world. There is a sameness to this. And that numbness, I think, is something we are all feeling. All of us gathered here today, looking at the scene, listening to governors, mayors, chiefs, speaking, similar tone and terms, expression of condolences, all the right emotions and perhaps the right words, but it begs the damn question; What the hell is wrong in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us?
And when are we going to come to grips with this and put down our arms literally and figuratively? Our politics, stale rhetoric, finger pointing, all the hand wringing consternation that produces nothing but more fury and frustration, more scenes like this repeated over and over and over again. I say that not as a governor, but as a father of four and as a member of the community who cares deeply about it. So, we will have time to work through all of that."

Newsom continued by thanking the swift action of law enforcement who rushed to the scene and offered words of support to the victims and their families.

"To the victims, to those who lost their lives, and the families who lost their loved ones. Yes our hearts go out, but we are resolved not to make this meaningless but to make meaning at this tragic moment in our state's and our nation's history. Again, thank you to all of the men and the women behind me and their courageousness," he said.

Watch here:

5:13 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Biden on San Jose shooting: At least eight families "will never be whole again"

From CNN's DJ Judd

President Biden will order the flags to be flown at half-staff following today's mass shooting at a light rail yard in San Jose, California.

Biden said in a statement that it’s the fifth time he’s done so following a mass shooting in America.

“We are still awaiting many of the details of this latest mass shooting, but there are some things we know for sure. There are at least eight families who will never be whole again. There are children, parents, and spouses who are waiting to hear whether someone they love is ever going to come home. There are union brothers and sisters – good, honest, hardworking people – who are mourning their own," the President said in the statement.

Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America," he added.

Earlier today, Vice President Kamala Harris told CNN the shooting was “absolutely tragic.”

4:55 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Santa Clara County sheriff describes the scene of the shooting

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith described the scene that deputies encountered when they entered the VTA light rail yard in San Jose, California, this morning.

She said the first teams that entered the building were members of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and the San Jose Police Department.

"There was active shooting going on at that time," Smith said. "There were victims shot in two separate buildings. But they responded the way that they should. They took their life in their hands. And I know for sure that when the suspect knew that law enforcement was there, he took his own life. Our deputies were right there at that time."

The sheriff said the shooting involves a "very complex investigation," which also includes the San Jose Police Department. Police are investigating a fire at a home that is believed to be that of the gunman, a source close to the investigation tells CNN.

Smith went on to say that sheriff's officials are also working to identify the victims.

4:55 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Sheriff's officials believe suspect died from "self-inflicted" gunshot wound

CNN
CNN

Deputy Russell Davis, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, said that investigators believe the suspected shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He said the deputies who responded to the scene did not exchange gunfire with the suspect.

"I can confirm with you that deputies did not exchange gunfire. And right now we're going to preliminarily go with the assumption that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound from the suspect, and deputies did not exchange gunfire."

 Officials are providing an update on the investigation.

Watch:

4:24 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Vice President Harris calls San Jose shooting "absolutely tragic"

From CNN's DJ Judd

Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the San Jose shooting that left at least eight victims dead this morning, calling the attack “absolutely tragic.”

“The shooting in San Jose is — the facts are still revealing themselves, but it is absolutely tragic. It's absolutely tragic,” Harris said ahead of a meeting with lawmakers on broadband infrastructure. “I have family that lives in San Jose. I've worked for many, many years with the mayor of San Jose and that police department, and my prayers and my thoughts are with all those families that have been affected.” 

President Biden was briefed on the shooting by Homeland Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall. The White House told reporters it “continues to monitor the situation and remains in close contact with local officials to offer any assistance as needed.”

Biden has yet to release a statement on the shooting.

 

4:23 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

A fire erupted at the gunman's home around time of the shooting, source says

From CNN’s Cheri Mossburg and Paul Murphy

Emergency responders leave a home, rear, being investigated in connection to a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility, Wednesday, May 26, in San Jose, California.. 
Emergency responders leave a home, rear, being investigated in connection to a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility, Wednesday, May 26, in San Jose, California.. 

A house that erupted in flames in San Jose at around the same time officers responded to a mass shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority facility is believed to be the home of the gunman, a source close to the investigation tells CNN.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in an interview with CNN affiliate KGO earlier that a fire was reported at the home of the gunman, though he did not specify the location.

“That is certainly the information that I have, is that there was a fire at the shooter’s home, there was nobody found inside the home, thank God,” Liccardo said.

Firefighters responded to a fire at the home in the 1100 block of Angmar Court in San Jose at 6:36 a.m. local time, according to tweets from the San Jose Fire Department. The first 911 calls about the shooting at the VTA facility roughly 8 miles away began at 6:34 a.m., sheriff’s officials said.

Video, shot by a neighbor, showed a home with smoke pouring out as firefighters respond to the blaze.  

The neighbor, Duk Kyun Suh, started recording the video early on during the fire. In it, firefighters appear to be just arriving on scene. 

It took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the two-alarm fire that caused heavy damage to the home and left the structure uninhabitable, the fire department said.

Asked about the house fire at a news conference, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said the San Jose Police Department was working on that part of the investigation.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and no injuries were reported, according to Erica Ray, spokesperson for San Jose Fire Department.

3:58 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

President Biden has been briefed on the San Jose shooting

From CNN's DJ Judd

President Biden has been briefed on a mass shooting in San Jose, where at least eight people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a public transit rail yard.

“The President has been briefed on the mass shooting and the tragic loss of life in San Jose by his Homeland Security Adviser, Liz Sherwood-Randall. The White House continues to monitor the situation and remains in close contact with local officials to offer any assistance as needed,” the White House told pool Wednesday.

What we know: The suspect, a male employee of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), is dead, authorities said. He has been identified as Sam Cassidy, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to CNN.

Police also received information about explosive devices inside the transit building, which the bomb squad is investigating, he said.

The shooting occurred in the VTA rail yard — not the operations control center — at a time when light rail was starting up for the day, VTA Board Chairperson Glenn Hendricks said. The yard is where the VTA vehicles are maintained and dispatched.

3:15 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

The San Jose shooter has been identified, source says

From CNN's Josh Campbell

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the San Jose mass shooting investigation confirms to CNN that the shooter has been identified as Sam Cassidy.

In a news conference earlier today, law enforcement and city authorities said the shooter was dead and that he was a VTA employee.

3:11 p.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Homeland Security chief sends condolences to families of San Jose shooting victims

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Alicia Lee

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas kicked off his remarks before a Senate panel Wednesday expressing thoughts and prayers for the families of the victims of the San Jose mass shooting. 

I do want to express our thoughts and prayers for the families and loved ones of the victims of the mass shooting, as the chairman to which you refer in your opening remarks, the tragedies that occurred in the northern part of California earlier today,” Mayorkas said in front of the panel. 

“The Department of Homeland Security is confronting serious complex and dynamic threats to the security of our nation on a daily basis," he added.