Eight dead after shooting at California yard
An employee opened fire on a California yard serving Silicon Valley, killing eight people.
The suspect was also dead, authorities said.
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s spokesperson MP Russell Davis said the suspect was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which provides buses, light rail and other transit services in the region. Santa Clara County, the largest county in the Bay Area.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said it was “undetermined” how the shooter died.
The shooting took place around 6:30 a.m. at a light rail facility in San Jose, next to the sheriff’s department and across an airport freeway. The facility is a transit control center that stores trains and has a maintenance yard.
Mr Davis said the attack resulted in “multiple serious injuries”.
He did not know the type of weapon used or whether the shots were fired indoors or outdoors. He said the victims included VTA employees. The authorities did not release any of the names of the victims.
“These people were heroes during Covid-19, the buses never stopped working, VTA did not stop working. They just kept working, and now we really call them to be heroes a second time to survive a terrible, terrible tragedy, ”Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
The VTA trains were already running in the morning when the shooting took place. The tram service was to be suspended at noon and replaced with bus bridges, agency president Glenn Hendricks said at a press conference.
“It’s just really hard for everyone to be able to try to figure out what happened,” said Hendricks.
Two patients were taken to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to spokesperson Joy Alexiou. One person was pronounced dead on arrival and the other was in critical condition.
Offstage, Michael Hawkins told the Mercury News he was expecting his mother, Rochelle Hawkins, who called him from a co-worker’s phone to assure her she was safe.
When the shooting started, “she got in touch with the rest of her colleagues” and dropped her phone, Michael Hawkins told the newspaper.
Rochelle Hawkins didn’t see the shooter and she didn’t know how close she had been to the striker, her son said.
The attack was the county’s second shootout in less than two years. A gunman killed three people before committing suicide at a popular garlic festival in Gilroy in July 2019.
At a press conference, the mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, lamented the “horrible day for our city”.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet that his office was “in close contact with local law enforcement and monitoring this situation closely.”
FBI and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were responding at the crime scene, officials said.