The middle-aged man who opened fire at 6:34am on his co-workers in a San Jose maintenance facility of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, killing eight, had earlier in the day set fire to his East San Jose home. according to law enforcement authorities.
The man, identified by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Russell Davis as a Valley Transportation Authority employee, opened fire at the light rail yard in San Jose at the start of a union meeting.
Davis confirmed that nine people were killed in the attack, including the shooter.
The VTA attackl was the most deadly mass shooting in the Bay Area since a 1993 shooting on California Street in San Francisco, which also claimed 9 lives, with six wounded.
Davis said the VTA attacker had set his Angmar Court house on fire prior to the shooting.
He also revealed that investigators found an explosive device at the VTA facility after the shooting, which occurred less than a block away from the the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. He said the department's bomb squad had been activated, out of concern that additional explosive devices might be at the scene.
No information was available as of noon Wednesday about those killed in the shooting, whether others were wounded, or any details about the shooting, except that it occurred outside, in an open area of the maintenance facility.
A media briefing was scheduled for 1:30pm.
The FBI has been called in to assist in the investigation.
Union representatives did not return phone calls Wednesday morning, and the VTA was not responding to media inquiries, which had jammed its voicemail box.
VTA Board Chair Glenn Hendricks released a statement, announcing that the light rail service would be suspended indefinitely beginning at noon Wednesday, and replaced by additional buses.
“It’s very difficult for the VTA family to wrap our heads around this,” he said. “It’s a very sad day for us.”
“This is a horrible day for San Jose,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.