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Gunman opens fire at Bay Area light rail yard; 8 victims dead

May 26 (UPI) -- Eight victims and a gunman died Wednesday in a mass shooting at a railyard in the San Francisco Bay Area, authorities said.

The gunfire erupted early Wednesday at a Valley Transportation Authority light yard in San Jose, Calif. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said the shooter is dead.

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California authorities identified the suspect as 57-year-old Samuel James Cassidy, a maintenance worker at the VTA site.

The victims have been identified by the Santa Clara County's medical examiner as 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.

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At least one person injured in the shooting was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition.

Officers arrived at the scene to find nine deaths, including that of the male suspect who appears to have died from a self-inflected gunshot wound, according to a preliminary investigation.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said the suspect was still firing rounds when officers arrived at the scene.

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"There were victims shot in two separate buildings. But they responded the way that they should. They took their life in their hands," she said. "And I know for sure that when the suspect knew that law enforcement was there, he took his own life. Our deputies were right there at the time."

Several possible suspicious devices were also found, the sheriff's office said, adding the bomb squad has since rendered the scene safe.

The Department of Homeland Security said seven people died at the shooting site and one at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to KNTV-TV in San Jose.

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The light rail facility was evacuated after the shooting.

San Jose is located about 45 miles southeast of San Francisco.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo emphasized during a press conference that the shooter is "no longer a threat."

"Our hearts are pained for the families of those we have lost in this horrific shooting," Liccardo tweeted. "The shooter is deceased."

President Joe Biden ordered the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff, calling the shooting a "horrific tragedy."

"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. God bless all those whose lives were lost today, and all those who loved them."

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom traveled to San Jose and told reporters during a press conference that the United States experiences mass shootings like nowhere else in the world.

"There is a sameness to this and a numbness, I think, is something we're all feeling, all of use gathered here today, looking at this scene, listening to governors, mayors, chiefs, speaking similar tones and terms, expression of condolences, all the right emotions and perhaps the right words but it begs to ask the damn question: What the hell's going on in the United States of America? What the hell's wrong with us?"

Officials set up a reunification center where workers and relatives could meet.

Glenn Hendricks, chairman of the VTA, told reporters that light rail services was suspend and bus bridges have been put in place.

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