San Jose police release body-cam video in deadly rail yard shooting

San Jose police release body-cam video in deadly rail yard shooting
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San Jose police on Tuesday released body camera footage from sheriff’s deputies who responded to the shooting last week at a local rail yard that killed nine people. 

The footage from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office showed armed officers arriving at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) just minutes after police first received reports of shots fired. 

In footage taken from the body camera of one of the deputies, officers can be seen approaching and climbing up the building as gunfire can be heard coming from inside. 

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A shooting survivor then emerged from one of the exit doors and was instructed by officers to put his hands up. 

The deputies can be heard asking for the man’s key card so they could access the building. 

The five-member officer team then walked through a series of offices and corridors with flashlights mounted on their guns as they attempted to locate the shooter.

A final two shots could be heard as officers approached a set of doors, after which one team member looked through a small window and said,  “I’ve got somebody down.” 

The officers then opened the door as one officer shouted, “Let me see your hands!”

Officers then found the alleged shooting suspect, who was blurred in the video, dead at the top of the stairs, with the gun still in his hand. 

Authorities have said that they believe the suspected shooter, identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

The footage comes as the latest in ongoing details released by law enforcement in the deadly shooting, with investigators still working to determine a motive. 

However, authorities have identified Cassidy as an employee at the VTA, and his ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told The Associated Press that her former spouse had previously talked about wanting to kill people at work out of frustration. 

“He could dwell on things,” she told the news agency. “I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now.”

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Tuesday that it was not clear if Cassidy knew law enforcement officers were approaching him before he allegedly shot himself, though he could have been alerted by their flashlights or shouts as they walked through the building, according to the AP. 

Smith added that the body camera footage exemplified the immense courage officers displayed while responding to the shooting. 

“There were over 100 VTA employees on site that morning, and I believe the bravery of all of law enforcement personnel really prevented the loss of additional life,” she said.