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Sheriff's Office releases body-worn camera video of search for VTA gunman

Footage shows authorities at site of May 26 mass shooting in San Jose

Body-worn camera footage shows authorities responding to an active shooter call at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority maintenance facility in San Jose on May 26, 2021. A VTA employee shot and killed nine co-workers before he died by suicide. Courtesy Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Body-worn camera footage released Tuesday by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office shows the tense moments as deputies and San Jose police officers entered a building at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority maintenance yard in a search for a gunman who killed nine co-workers and then himself on May 26.

One deputy, a sheriff's supervisor and three San Jose police officers enter the building with a key card borrowed from a VTA supervisor.

Gunshots can be heard near the end of the four-minute video after officers make their way to the third floor, through darkened offices and down a hallway during the search for 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy, who has been described by investigators as a "highly disgruntled VTA employee for many years."

They then enter a room where Cassidy, his face blurred out, can be seen slumped on a desk chair by a stairwell.

Broken glass from a window by the door to a transportation superintendent's office is visible to the left.

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Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith at a news conference Tuesday praised the collaboration between deputies and police officers and their training and protocols in active shooter situations, noting there were still some 100 workers and that Cassidy "had a lot of additional ammunition" at the yard at the time.

"I thought it was important to show this protocol saved lives," she said.

Every law and fire agency in the county has been trained in a recently created active shooter protocol in which two to five officers form a rescue task force that is able to work together between departments before entering what is known as a "warm zone," sheriff's spokesperson Deputy Russell Davis said.

"I hate to say it, but if we did not have the protocol and they did not make contact, this would have been a lot worse," Davis said.

He said 11 gun magazines with full ammunition capacity were found on the grounds of the maintenance yard, in addition to thousands of rounds found at Cassidy's home.

Smith said a specific motive for the shooting is still being investigated and that authorities do not know if Cassidy had made any threats beforehand.

An autopsy has determined that Cassidy died of suicide from multiple gunshot wounds of the head, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Tuesday night.

"Although rare, this can occur in suicides in which the first shot to the head was not immediately fatal," the office said in a news release. "The Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office is providing the cause and manner of death findings following a thorough crime scene investigation and autopsy."

In another news release issued Wednesday, the office concluded that all nine victims died of multiple gunshot wounds "following a thorough investigation and autopsies."

Any person who is feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal can call 800-784-2433 to speak with a crisis counselor. People in Santa Clara County can call 855-278-4204. Spanish speakers can call 888-628-9454.

People can reach trained counselors at Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.

Additional resources can be found here.

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Sheriff's Office releases body-worn camera video of search for VTA gunman

Footage shows authorities at site of May 26 mass shooting in San Jose

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Uploaded: Wed, Jun 2, 2021, 11:47 am

Body-worn camera footage released Tuesday by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office shows the tense moments as deputies and San Jose police officers entered a building at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority maintenance yard in a search for a gunman who killed nine co-workers and then himself on May 26.

One deputy, a sheriff's supervisor and three San Jose police officers enter the building with a key card borrowed from a VTA supervisor.

Gunshots can be heard near the end of the four-minute video after officers make their way to the third floor, through darkened offices and down a hallway during the search for 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy, who has been described by investigators as a "highly disgruntled VTA employee for many years."

They then enter a room where Cassidy, his face blurred out, can be seen slumped on a desk chair by a stairwell.

Broken glass from a window by the door to a transportation superintendent's office is visible to the left.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith at a news conference Tuesday praised the collaboration between deputies and police officers and their training and protocols in active shooter situations, noting there were still some 100 workers and that Cassidy "had a lot of additional ammunition" at the yard at the time.

"I thought it was important to show this protocol saved lives," she said.

Every law and fire agency in the county has been trained in a recently created active shooter protocol in which two to five officers form a rescue task force that is able to work together between departments before entering what is known as a "warm zone," sheriff's spokesperson Deputy Russell Davis said.

"I hate to say it, but if we did not have the protocol and they did not make contact, this would have been a lot worse," Davis said.

He said 11 gun magazines with full ammunition capacity were found on the grounds of the maintenance yard, in addition to thousands of rounds found at Cassidy's home.

Smith said a specific motive for the shooting is still being investigated and that authorities do not know if Cassidy had made any threats beforehand.

An autopsy has determined that Cassidy died of suicide from multiple gunshot wounds of the head, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Tuesday night.

"Although rare, this can occur in suicides in which the first shot to the head was not immediately fatal," the office said in a news release. "The Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office is providing the cause and manner of death findings following a thorough crime scene investigation and autopsy."

In another news release issued Wednesday, the office concluded that all nine victims died of multiple gunshot wounds "following a thorough investigation and autopsies."

Any person who is feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal can call 800-784-2433 to speak with a crisis counselor. People in Santa Clara County can call 855-278-4204. Spanish speakers can call 888-628-9454.

People can reach trained counselors at Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.

Additional resources can be found here.

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