On Wednesday, authorities said that a worker fired at a California railyard that has taken 8 lives ahead of killing himself as law enforcement marked the recent assault in this year that has faced an acute surge in mass killings as the country emerges from COVID-19 restrictions.
The attack came to pass around 06:30 am in 2 buildings at a light rail facility for the VTA (Valley Transportation Authority), which offers light rail, bus, and several other transportation services through Santa Clara County (a highly populated county in the region, San Francisco Bay Area).
Laurie Smith, Santa Clara County Sheriff, described to news reporters that when their deputies passed by the door, initially he was still shooting. Laurie Smith continued that when their deputy saw him, he killed himself. Moreover, deputies were passing through halls saying that “Sheriff’s office.” At that time, he had acknowledged that his time for the shooting came to an end.
Victims identified by coroner’s office
Most of the deceased people were longtime workers of the transit agency. On Wednesday night, they were recognized by the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office as Lars Kepler Lane, 63; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Jose Dejesus Hernandez, 35; Adrian Balleza, 29; Taptejdeep Singh, 36, and Paul Delacruz Megia, 42.
They served as mechanics, linemen, bus and light rail operators, assistant superintendent, and one of them had operated in the agency since 1999.
Bagga Singh (cousin of Taptejdeep Singh) described that Taptejdeep had operated as a light train driver for around 8 or 9 years. He added that Singh had two small kids, a wife, and several other family members.
He explained that they hear that he chose the people to kill, but he (Bagga Singh) doesn’t know why they opt for him because he has nothing to do with him. Bagga said that he was told that the shooter aimed at specific people and let others go.
Raul Peralez, San Jose City Councilman, described that Rudometkin was a close friend. On Facebook, he posted that there are no words to define the heartache they are feeling right now, particularly for his family. He added that 8 families are facing this same loss tonight, and their whole community is mourning as well.