San Jose Shooting Witness Says Samuel Cassidy 'Was Targeting Certain People'

A witness of the mass shooting at a Northern California rail yard on Wednesday has claimed that the suspect had specific targets and has blamed "brutal" working conditions for causing the tragic incident.

Law enforcement officials identified Samuel Cassidy, 57, as the suspect in the fatal shooting of nine people, including himself, at the Valley Transit Authority (VTA) light rail yard in San Jose, California, at around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Cassidy was a VTA employee, but have not yet released any further information about him.

The victims were identified by the authorities on Wednesday.

Speaking to the ABC7 I-Team, witness Kirk Bertolet, who has worked at VTA for 12 years, shed new light on what happened during the shooting.

Bertolet said he was in an office next to the employee break room, where several staffers were located ahead of a shift change, when he heard gunfire and the shooter leave the building and head towards the facility's control center.

"It was just several bursts, it was series of shots, then another series of shots and another series of shots," he said.

Bertolet quickly entered the room to provide first aid, telling ABC 7: "I saw a couple people as I walked in and then I just saw a mass of bodies, and I went to check to see if anybody was alive, if I could do anything for anybody, and watch people take their last breath."

He then claimed that the shooter chose his targets during the incident on Wednesday and said that he believes Cassidy snapped because of how people treat each other at the facility.

"I do know that he had a specific agenda and was targeting certain people, he walked by people, let other people live as he gunned down other people," Bertolet said.

"We sometimes are brutal to one another, I know certain shops just have a certain culture about them, it's a union trade deal and it's just union hardcore blue collar workers and that's how things go."

Several California lawmakers, including Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein, issued statements following the incident, as VTA Chairman Glenn Hendricks said during a press conference: "We're so sorry that this event happened."

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo also shared his condolences, saying: "Our heart pains for the families and the co-workers...Now is a moment for us to collect ourselves, to understand what happened, to mourn and to help those who have suffered, to heal. That will be my intention today and for the foreseeable future."

Newsweek has contacted the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and VTA for comment.

San Jose shooting witness speaks of targets
SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 26: Tactical law enforcement officers move through the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light-rail yard where a mass shooting occurred on May 26, 2021 in San Jose, California. Witness Kirk Bertolet said on Wednesday evening that the suspect had specific targets. Philip Pacheco/Getty Images