The death toll in the mass shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority maintenance yard in San Jose rose to nine late Wednesday night.
Alex Ward Fritch, 49, who had been in critical condition since being taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Wednesday morning, died from his injuries, the County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner/Coroner.
Previously announced victims killed by the gunman are Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
The medical examiner-coroner ‘s office said it had notified all next of kin.
A vigil honoring the victims of the attack is planned for tonight at 6pm at the San Jose City Hall Plaza.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, members of the San Jose City Council, and VTA representatives are scheduled to attend.
Flags have been lowered at the White House to honor the victims of the VTA shooting.
Authorities have not said whether there were any other people injured in the attack. More than 40 VTA employees were at the facility at the time, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said.
The gunman was found dead near the scene with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the preliminary investigation.
“The staff and leadership of the medical examiner-coroner, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and the entire County of Santa Clara leadership want to reiterate their deepest condolences to the families and individuals impacted by this senseless tragedy,” county officials said in a statement.
The gunman, an employee of the maintenance yard identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Samuel Cassidy, 57, was also found dead near the maintenance yard at 101 West Younger Avenue in San Jose with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the preliminary investigation.
Sheriff's Office personnel using explosive ordinance detection K9s located several possible suspicious devices on VTA property. The Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad responded to render the scene safe," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
Investigators with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also supporting the Sheriff's Office in investigating the shooting and supplying investigators with ballistics and forensic equipment from the FBI's offices in Quantico, Virginia.
Multiple guns were used by Cassidy in the attack at the light rail yard, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said at a news conference Wednesday.
Rosen did not specify the types of weapons used in the shooting or whether they were obtained legally, but said they were not considered to be untraceable “ghost guns.”
Officials are still working to notify the families of the eight victims killed in the shooting, Rosen said, but he expects all notifications will be complete by the end of the day.
The district attorney said he did not know whether there may have been any red flags about the shooter’s intentions ahead of the tragedy.
“I know that for many of the families, and some of whom I've talked to, when they said goodbye to their spouse this morning, their husband, they didn't mean goodbye forever. They meant goodbye until dinnertime, and I'm just so sorry," Rosen said.
A family assistance center has been created to help the family members, and witnesses, along with anyone affected by the shooting.
“We know tragically, that mass shootings affect different people in different ways,” said Rosen.
“Sadly, we have experience with these shootings,” he added, referring to the July 2019 mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. “Honestly, I pray that this is the last time we have to open such a center in our county. We are going to do everything we can today in in the weeks and months ahead to support all of the victims and their families. And we're also going to do everything that we can to find out if there's anything that could have been done to prevent this tragedy.”
The sheriff's office first received reports of the shooting at 6:34 a.m. and dispatched deputies to the rail yard, which is adjacent to the Sheriff's Office's headquarters.
The gunman opened fire during a shift change at the rail yard, with graveyard shift employees leaving the facility and day shift employees arriving, according to Sheriff’s Office spokespersoni Sgt. Russell Davis.
Service on VTA lines remains closed “until further notice,” according to the agency website.
The San Jose-based community organization Working Partnerships USA and the South Bay Labor Council set up a fund to support families of the shooting victims. Donations can be made at bit.ly/vtasolidarity.
A family reunification center has also been set up at the County Government Center at 70 W. Hedding St. VTA employees and their families can call (408) 321-7550 for more information.
Anyone with information connected to the shooting is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (408) 808-4500.