Police and federal investigators were determining on Thursday why a Northern California transit employee opened fire on his co-workers, as the death toll rose to nine people in the latest mass shooting to haunt the United States.
The accused gunman shot himself as police closed in on him, minutes after gunfire erupted at about 6:30am local time (13:30 GMT) at a light rail yard in the heart of Silicon Valley on Wednesday, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.
Firefighters responded to a fire at a home where the suspect lived at about the same time that the shooting was first reported. A police bomb squad searched the rail yard and adjacent buildings after an explosive device was found.
Police declined to speculate on a motive for the shooting rampage, saying that their work at the scene could take several days, assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
However, the gunman’s ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told the Associated Press news agency that Cassidy had talked about killing people at work more than a decade ago.
“I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now,” a tearful Nelms told the news agency.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference that the massacre was a symptom of a larger American problem.
“It begs the damn question, What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us and when are we going to come to grips with this?” Newsom said.
A White House spokeswoman told reporters that the shooting was further evidence that the United States was in the grip of an “epidemic of gun violence“.
President Joe Biden, in a statement, said the US had had “enough”. Here