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9 dead, including gunman, in downtown San Jose shooting

Police car lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)
May 26, 2021

An gunman opened fire at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority rail yard in San Jose, California, Wednesday, leaving eight dead and several others injured.

Police took down the active shooter, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said. The suspect was later identified as VTA employee Samuel Cassidy.

According to The Mercury News, several people were killed during the shooting, including the gunman.

San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo tweeted, “A shooting at the VTA facility on Younger St has left several people being treated, but the situation is still being assessed. The shooter is no longer a threat, and the facility has been evacuated. I will update as more information becomes available.”

Law enforcement in San Jose, California, responded to the scene of a shooting near Younger Avenue and San Pedro Street Wednesday morning, according to the San Jose Police Media Relations Twitter account.

“Units are currently at the scene of a shooting in the area of Younger Av and San Pedro St. This is still an active scene and we ask that everyone stay out of the area while we conduct our investigation,” the agency wrote around 7 a.m. local time.

The incident is occurred near a Valley Transportation Authority light rail maintenance yard site, and according to VTA spokesperson Brandi Childress, employees were evacuated, CNN reported.

Video of the scene was shared on Twitter by BNCNews, showing numerous law enforcement and emergency response vehicles.

Lookout Santa Cruz shared a map of the area on Twitter, and officials warned the public to stay away while they conduct their investigation.

“Police say multiple victims hurt, dead after ‘active shooter’ incident at San Jose Rail Yard,” the local news outlet tweeted along with the map.

The shooting comes as violent crime continues to climb throughout the United States in the wake of local and state governments acquiescing to demands to defund the police in 2020.

Los Angeles has seen a 31 percent increase in murders alone this year, according to department data.

The southern California city slashed its police budget by $150 million over the summer last year, totaling roughly 8 percent of the department’s budget. Last week, the city agreed to increase the budget in order to hire around 250 new officers, the New York Times reported, almost completely restoring the hefty cuts made in 2020. Los Angeles had just 9,800 sworn officers after the cuts, the lowest number since 2008.

“We’ve lost more than a decade of progress,” Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said, noting dropping crime rates prior to the calls to defund the police.

“I won’t argue that there is substandard housing, education, broken families, substance abuse, the systems that are racist and have systemic issues that have gone on for generations,” he continued, referring to protesters’ demands. “But the fix of that is not to eliminate policing.”