The gunman who shot and killed nine Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) co-workers before killing himself was under investigation for reportedly making racist remarks to coworkers.
According to NBC Bay Area, Samuel Cassidy, 57, had been accused of making inappropriate racist remarks to co-workers while working as a maintenance worker at VTA. He was scheduled to attend a disciplinary hearing on the day of the attack.
Authorities claim that Cassidy had been described as “a highly disgruntled VTA employee for many years” and noted that he often boasted to co-workers that he had guns and explosives. It is unclear whether police were notified before the shooting of Cassidy’s history.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Cassidy was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and questioned in 2016 after they found books on terrorism and a notebook filled with writings on his hatred for VTA.
Cassidy’s ex-wife Cecilia Yolanda Nelms told NBC Bay Area that “he had talked about killing co-workers during their ten year marriage that ended in 2004, but she said she didn’t take those comments seriously and was stunned to hear about the rampage.
“I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now,” she said.
From NBC Bay Area:
More than 50 federal agents, some from as far as FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, have since converged on the Guadalupe maintenance yard at 101 W. Younger Avenue and what was left of the shooter’s burned out home on Angmar Court in South San Jose, searching for signs of explosives and other evidence.
So far, authorities have seized three semiautomatic handguns and 32 illegal high-capacity 12-round magazines.
Authorities found “materials for bombs, detonator cords, the precursors to an explosive,” at one rail yard locker, [Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie] Smith said, adding there was evidence the shooter had used a timer device to delay setting fire to his home.
Smith also noted that the deputies arrival prevented more deaths.
“When our deputies went through the door, initially he was still firing rounds,” she said. “When our deputy saw him, he took his life.”