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Eight people killed in a railyard shooting in San Jose, California, say police

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By Euronews
Officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California.
Officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California.   -   Copyright  Noah Berger/AP
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A worker at a rail yard in San Jose, California opened fire at the site on Wednesday, killing eight people and injuring others before his own demise, authorities have said.

At a press conference on Wednesday, officials said the suspect was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which provides bus, light rail and other transit services across Santa Clara County.

Citing two law enforcement officials, The Associated Press reported that the suspect had been identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy.

So far, no statement has been issued on a possible motive behind the attack.

The incident unfolded at around 6.30 am at the light rail facility.

Following the attack, bomb squads were deployed to the rail complex after receiving information about possible explosive devices being inside the building.

Meanwhile, officers were also investigating a house fire that began shortly after the shooting.

According to AP, public records showed that Cassidy owned a two-story home where firefighters had responded Wednesday morning.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Russell Davis said the victims included VTA employees. None of the victims' identities were revealed.

At the same presser, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez offered her condolences, asserting that VTA workers have been "heroes during COVID-19".

"The buses never stopped running, VTA didn't stop running," Chavez said. "They just kept at work, and now we’re really calling on them to be heroes a second time to survive such a terrible, terrible tragedy."

Calling the incident a "horrible tragedy", VTA Chairman Glenn Hendricks said his "thoughts and love go out to the VTA family".

He said resources were being made available to support VTA members affected by the incident.

In the wake of the incident, officials said light rail service would be suspended and replaced with bus bridges.

'Epidemic of gun violence'

In a statement published on Twitter, San Jose's mayor Sam Liccardo shared his condolences, writing: "Our hearts are pained for the families of those we have lost in this horrific shooting."

Meanwhile, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the White House was "monitoring the situation and our hearts go out to the victims and their families".

Jean-Pierre said that "what's clear, as [President Joe Biden] has said, is that we are suffering from an epidemic of gun violence in this country, both in mass shootings and in the lives that are being taken in daily gun violence that doesn't make national headlines."

"That's why he has already taken an initial set of actions on gun violence that will save lives," the spokesperson said.

"And that's why he's he's calling on Congress to take action, including calling on the Senate to pass the three bills to strengthen background checks that have already cleared the House with bipartisan support and which have the overwhelming backing of the American people," Jean-Pierre said.