San Jose Shooter Had 2 Semi-Automatic Pistols and 11 Magazines

The guns appeared to be legal, according to the local sheriff.
May 27, 2021, 3:26pm
A man cries while sitting on the sidewalk on North First Street near the scene of a shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority's (VTA) light-rail facility in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
A man cries while sitting on the sidewalk on North First Street near the scene of a shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority's (VTA) light-rail facility in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Photo by Randy Vazquez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

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The alleged San Jose gunman had 2 semi-automatic pistols and 11 magazines with him when he killed 10 people, including himself, at a light-rail yard downtown Wednesday morning. 

The guns “appear to be the type that would be legal in California,” Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Thursday. And the weapons were also registered, according to District Attorney Jeff Rosen. Police are still investigating how the suspect obtained them and whether any modifications were made, though. 

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Inside the suspect’s home in San Jose—which he set on fire minutes before the shooting—local law enforcement found hundreds more rounds of ammo and empty cans of gasoline scattered around. Bomb squads also found “several possible suspicious devices” on the property, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office

The shooting took place around 6:30 a.m. at a Valley Transportation Authority rail-yard facility while a union meeting was going on. The suspect in the shooting, 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy, was an employee there and apparently drove to the site after setting his house on fire. According to officials, police didn’t fire any rounds during the shooting.

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The suspect’s motives are still unknown. But his ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, said he would sexually assault and abuse her when they were married, she told CNN. Domestic violence and abuse is often a precursor to mass shootings. 

Nelms divorced the alleged gunman in 2005 and said she hadn’t contacted him in 10 years. 

The nine victims of the shooting were all co-workers of the suspect at the VTA hub, according to CNN. They were identified by the county’s medical examiner as: Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Timothy Michael Romo, 49;  Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom commented on the tragedy at a press conference Wednesday.

“There’s a numbness I imagine some of us are feeling about this, because there's a sameness to this,” Gov. Newsom said. “Anywhere, USA, it feels like this happens over and over and over again. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat."

When asked about the state’s gun laws regarding the shooting, the governor walked away from the podium without comment.