SAN JOSE, Calif .– A gunman who killed nine co-workers at a northern California rail yard shot himself twice in the head as sheriff’s deputies rushed into a building, officials said. Tuesday’s body camera footage of the tense encounter.
The nearly 4.5 minutes of footage comes from an assistant who arrived minutes after the first reports of shooting and while shots were still being fired at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus and train station in San Jose, where Samuel, 57, Cassidy opened fire before committing suicide.
Police obscured the video of the suspect as well as the faces of several police officers and a worker seen leaving the building.
A “contact team” made up of deputies and police from San José was immediately formed to locate the shooter, who was believed to be inside a building and armed with a handgun. Body camera footage shows the team cautiously climbing the stairs to the third floor, where an ATV supervisor comes out with arms raised and hands over his key card so officers can get inside the building.
The five-member team then enter the building, guns raised, using gun-mounted flashlights as they move through rooms and hallways to a dispatch center.
Within minutes, they hear a shot, then another, followed by two more. As they arrive at another door, one of the team members looks out a small window and says, “I have someone down” inside. The team opens the door and someone shouts “Let me see your hands!” “
What could be two more gunshots are heard.
The footage shows a man slumped in a chair near a stairwell with a gun in his hand. He is in front of a door to a dispatch center with a window smashed by gunfire.
The shooter had shot himself under the chin and then placed the gun to the side of his head, the sheriff said.
It wasn’t clear whether Cassidy knew law enforcement was approaching him or not, but he may have seen their flashlights and heard them screaming at each other as they determined the whereabouts of the gunman and victims as they moved around the building, Smith said.
Smith said his office used an active firing protocol advocated by a lieutenant who visited Colorado during the Columbine School mass shooting in 1999. Smith said law enforcement ‘were trained together.
The deputies and officers “barely spoke a word” when they entered the building because “they knew what their job was,” she said, adding that they were showing extraordinary courage.
“There were over 100 VTA employees on site that morning, and I think the bravery of all the law enforcement personnel really prevented the loss of more lives,” she said. .
A spokesperson for VTA told the Mercury News in San Jose that it could take weeks or months to resume service on the commuter train line. Guadalupe Court functions as the hub of the light rail system and is now a crime scene under the control of the Sheriff’s Department. Spokeswoman Stacey Hendler Ross said the agency is focusing on supporting trauma workers who have lost co-workers.
The footage was released as a new fbi report finds California has seen the highest number of mass shooting incidents in the past 20 years, a figure that matches its population, the report said. It also came outside working hours Los Angeles County Firefighter fatally shot and killed a colleague and injured another before committing suicide.
The sheriff said investigators were still trying to determine the motive for the shooting, although acquaintances and his ex-wife said Cassidy spoke of hating her job at least a decade ago and had a streak of anger and unpredictable.
“We are starting to bring things together. But we spoke with hundreds of witnesses, ”Smith said.