2:56 PM PDT, May 27, 2021
The man authorities say gunned down nine people at a California rail yard before killing himself was captured on surveillance video less than an hour before the first reports of gunfire. Samuel Cassidy was seen around 5:40 a.m. calmly loading a duffle bag containing semi-automatic handguns and ammunition into his truck before heading to work.
Cassidy drove a white pickup truck eight miles to the San Jose light rail yard where he has worked as a mechanic for 20 years. Just after 6:30 a.m., calls reporting gunfire started pouring in to 911.
Around the same time, smoke billowed from Cassidy’s home. Authorities believe he rigged his house with an incendiary device.
Inside the transportation center, a massacre took place. Cassidy killed nine coworkers, ranging in age from 29 to 63, before taking his own life when confronted by cops.
Relatives rushed to the rail yard to wait for news of loved ones. There were emotional reunions — and heart-rending anguish.
The 57-year-old killer was described as “hostile” and a “loner” by his neighbors. His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, says his violent temper caused the breakup of their 10-year marriage. An ex-girlfriend he met on Match.com sought a restraining order against him in 2009. She said Cassidy had major mood wings as a result of bipolar disorder.
The workplace massacre — the 232nd mass shooting this year — is the latest in a national epidemic. The flag atop the White House was lowered to half staff.