State Watch

Ninth victim identified in San Jose shooting

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A ninth victim has been identified in the Wednesday shooting at a rail yard in San Jose, Calif.

The Santa Clara County Office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner announced late Wednesday night that Alex Ward Fritch, 49, has died.

Fritch died at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center after being transported there from the scene in critical condition.

A gunman opened fire at a San Jose rail yard Wednesday morning, leaving nine people dead.

The shooter, who was later identified as a male employee of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), the facility where the shooting took place, has also died.

Authorities said they believe he died of a self-inflicted wound.

Officials have not yet determined what the shooter’s motive was, or what type of weapon was used in the attack. An investigation is currently underway.

The medical examiner-coroner’s office identified the names of the other eight victims late Wednesday night.

Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63, were all killed in the shooting.

Authorities on Wednesday said they believed employees at the VTA were among the victims.

The facility is a hub that stores a number of trains and has a maintenance yard.

The Associated Press reported that the alleged gunman has been identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, according to two law enforcement sources.

Cassidy’s ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told the AP Wednesday that he had talked about killing people at work.

“I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now,” she told the wire service.

Nelms noted, however, that she had not been in touch with him in about 13 years.

They were married for 10 years before Cassidy filed for divorce in 2005.

President Biden on Wednesday called the shooting a “horrific tragedy.”

He said he now has the “solemn duty” of again lowering the flag to half-staff, after doing so following the mass shootings in Atlanta, Colorado, South Carolina and Indiana.

“Enough,” Biden wrote in a statement.

He urged Congress to “take immediate action and heed the call of the American people” to “help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.”

“Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more,” he added.

Tags Joe Biden Mass shooting Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
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