SAN JOSE, California – A gunman opened fireplace at a light-weight rail yard Wednesday, killing no less than eight individuals within the newest lethal taking pictures rampage to rock the nation in latest weeks.
Police spokesman Russell Davis stated the gunman, an worker on the sprawling Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) gentle rail hub, was additionally lifeless and that different workers have been among the many victims. Davis stated he didn’t know the way the gunman died, nor whether or not legislation enforcement fired their weapons.
“That is nonetheless a fluid and ongoing incident,” Davis stated late Wednesday morning. “We’re making an attempt to determine what precisely occurred.”
Davis couldn’t say what number of workers have been wounded and added “numbers can change.” He couldn’t say how lengthy the gunman had labored on the hub.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith stated bomb canines alerted officers to the presence of explosives on the scene. A bomb squad had cordoned off the world, she stated.
“There are numerous, many elements that we’re persevering with to find,” Smith stated.
Craig Honest, the FBI particular agent in cost, stated the crime scene was “pretty sizable” and is “going to take some time to course of.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo stated town was dealing with a “darkish second.”
“This can be a horrific day for our metropolis and tragic day for the VTA household,” he stated. “Our coronary heart pains for the households and the coworkers.”
Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman stated he ordered flags to half-staff.
“These of us have been heroes throughout COVID 19. The buses by no means stopped working. The VTA didn’t cease working. They simply stored at work, and now we’re actually calling on them to be heroes a second time – to outlive such a horrible, horrible tragedy,” County Supervisor Cindy Chavez stated.
Family members have been gathering at a household reunification middle on the close by county administration constructing, the place counselors have been offering assist, Liccardo stated. Michael Hawkins Jr. of San Jose got here to to search out his spouse, Rochelle Hawkins, a mechanic with the VTA, after getting a cellphone message from her.
“I’m simply right here for my spouse. I’m hoping she’s OK and whoever else is in there’s OK,” Hawkins stated. “She dropped her cellphone from working. She’s all proper. She was utilizing a coworker‘s cellphone.”
Angel Diaz of San Jose got here to test on his brother, Max Dominguez, after he and his sister obtained a name telling them to go to the household reunification middle.
“I’m slightly bit frightened,” Diaz stated in Spanish. However he stated there might be many explanation why he had but to listen to from his brother. “He drives a bus, so that they don’t allow them to use the cellphone.”
The taking pictures is the latest in an onslaught of gun violence within the U.S. In March, eight individuals – six of them ladies of Asian descent – have been killed by a gunman at three spas in Atlanta and a close-by county. Six days later, 10 individuals have been killed at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. Weeks later, eight individuals have been killed when a gunman opened fireplace on employees at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
In San Jose, Davis stated a number of 911 calls got here in at round 6:30 a.m. native time. Police Media Relations tweeted a short while later that “items are at the moment on the scene of a taking pictures within the space of Youthful Av and San Pedro St. That is nonetheless an lively scene and we ask that everybody keep out of the world whereas we conduct our investigation.”
Dozens of police and sheriff’s workplace autos swarmed the world across the VTA website that shops trains and serves as a upkeep yard. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Workplace can be situated close by.
Davis stated the practice yard has an indoor and outside part and that he was unsure whether or not the carnage passed off inside or exterior. He additionally couldn’t say what weapons have been used.
Police Chief Anthony Mata expressed condolences to victims, households and the group, including “thanks to all of the courageous and brave first responders.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted: “We’re in shut contact with native legislation enforcement and monitoring this example carefully.”
VTA trains have been already out on morning runs when the taking pictures occurred. Mild rail service was to be suspended at midday and changed with bus bridges, VTA Chairman Glenn Hendricks advised a information convention.
“A horrible tragedy has occurred right now, and our ideas and love exit to the VTA household,” Hendricks stated.
VTA spokesperson Brandi Childress additionally was unable to verify the variety of these shot or the extent of their accidents. “We ask for individuals’s prayers,” Childress advised KGO-TV.
San Jose-based ATU Native 265 Transit Union tweeted one phrase: “Pray”
The VTA runs three gentle rail strains protecting greater than 40 miles. The company additionally operates 70 bus strains within the area.
In San Jose, violent crimes are up practically 17% up to now this yr in contrast with the identical time final yr, based on police knowledge. Homicides are up 75%.
Nationwide, there have been no less than 230 mass shootings in 2021, outlined as 4 or extra shot or killed, not together with the shooter, based on the Gun Violence Archive.
There have been no less than 14 mass murders, outlined as 4 or extra persons are killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, based on the Gun Violence Archive.
Bacon reported from Arlington, Va. Contributing: Grace Hauck