A gunman opened fire at a public transit rail yard in San Jose, California, Wednesday morning. At least 8 people were killed and others wounded by the attacker who was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Police also received information about explosive devices inside the transit building which is being investigated by bomb squad members.
Authorities received 911 calls at about 6:34 a.m. saying there were shots fired near the VTA’s control center, where it stores multiple light rail trains and also houses maintenance equipment for its fleet of buses as well as any other systems that could be serviced by this team of engineers in their designated space. Sadly, some victims were among those who work with or for them so they will need to figure out how best to get through these difficult times together now no matter what time zone they are on because from here on out when working late into the night is an unavoidable risk all across America.
Multiple law enforcement agencies and Fire Department personnel responded to the incident using their “active shooter protocol,” Davis said.
“It was a sad day for the riders and employees of VTA,” said Glenn Hendricks, Board Chairperson. “We have had many days where we’ve felt unsafe in our transit system but this one is especially troubling because it happened at just about when light rail would startup.” This shooting occurred in the rail yard – not the operations control center- which means that after an incident like this occurs all other safety precautions are put into place to ensure rider’s protection.
“A horrible tragedy has happened today, and our thoughts and love goes out to the VTA family, the organization and what they’ve had to go through,” Hendricks said.
There are multiple active scenes connected to the investigation into the shooting, according to San Jose Fire spokeswoman Erica Ray.
As of noon, the VTA said that the light rail service will be suspended due to a crime scene investigation. The public transit agency is unable to provide reliable service because it employs 2,000 workers and transports passengers in Santa Clara Valley with bus and light rail services. KGO captured overhead video from the site where first responders appeared not urgent as they responded at 8 am PT on Monday while investigating this incident:
It remains unclear if law enforcement is able both rescue any victims or confirm whether there have been fatalities yet but one thing’s for sure due to its limited ability after an active shooter event like this, we’ll all need some form of alternate transportation plan today until further notice!
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to investigate a shooting at San Jose City Hall. Mayor Sam Liccardo said it was “a dark moment” for their city following such an eventful day in his life as he also became mayor yesterday.”
This is a horrific day for our city, it’s a tragic day for our VTA family,” he said. “We know that so many are feeling deeply this loss of their loved ones and their friends.”
The president of Amalgamated Transit Union International, a labor union that represents transit workers, has expressed his shock and sadness in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting.
“Our hearts and prayers are with our sisters, brothers, and their families at Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 265,” President John A. Costa said. “We are working to provide support and assistance to the victims’ families, and everyone impacted by this tragic event.”