Filipino among 8 dead in San Jose, California mass shooting

TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at May 27 2021 12:46 PM | Updated as of May 27 2021 12:56 PM

Filipino among 8 dead in San Jose, California mass shooting 1
Police secure the scene of a mass shooting at a rail yard run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, California, US. May 26, 2021. Peter DaSilva, Reuters

LOS ANGELES— A Filipino was among eight people killed after a public transit worker opened fire on his co-workers in San Jose, California Wednesday.

Paul dela Cruz Megia, 42, was among the Valley Transportation Authority personnel killed in the latest mass shooting to hit the United States, where gun violence is a lingering problem. 

Authorities identified the other victims as:

  • Taptejdeep Singh, 36
  • Adrian Balleza, 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35
  • Timothy Michael Romo, 49
  • Michael Rudometkin, 40
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63
  • Lars Lane, 63

Authorities have yet to give further information on shooter Samuel Cassidy, also an employee of the VTA, which provides rail and bus services for San Jose, a Silicon Valley tech hub of almost a million people.

Local news reports cited coworkers and his ex-wife describing the suspect as disgruntled and often very angry about his work. His ex-wife said he used to say he wanted to kill his coworkers but that she never thought he would take it seriously. 

Local officials said the shooting, which was initially reported before 7:00 a.m. local time (10 p.m. Wednesday in Manila), took place at an employee meeting, with at least 80 staff on site at the time.

US President Joe Biden called the incident a "horrific tragedy" and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff, saying in a statement: "There are at least eight families who will never be whole again."

"Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America," he said.

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

— With reports from Agence France-Presse

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