(CNN) – They found more than 22,000 ammunition, a dozen firearms, alleged Molotov cocktails and multiple gasoline cans at the home of Sam Cassidy, the man who killed nine people at his workplace in San Jose on Wednesday, according to the Office of the Santa Clara County Sheriff.
The motive for Cassidy’s attack has yet to be determined. However, authorities said that for a long time it appears to have been a Disgruntled employee on the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail yard in San José, where he shot and killed nine people Wednesday morning while reportedly letting others will escape.
“Based on current evidence obtained by sheriff’s office detectives in the VTA yard and the suspect’s residence, it is clear that this was a planned event and the suspect was prepared to use his firearms to take as many lives as I could have if the sheriff’s officers hadn’t come in to stop this onslaught. the sheriff’s office said in a press release.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Cassidy apparently shot himself when deputies approached him. Authorities have said he was carrying three weapons.
Authorities said Cassidy coordinated a fire at her home with the attack at the workplace. They believe he started the fire in the house by putting ammunition into an oven in the kitchen, surrounding it with substances to accelerate the fire and then lighting the stove, according to Cian Jackson of the sheriff’s office.
The house fire was reported Wednesday morning, within minutes of the first calls reporting a shooting at the VTA center, located about eight miles away.
Cassidy’s home, which was heavily damaged in the fire, has been secured and poses no threat to nearby residents, San Jose Fire Department spokeswoman Erica Ray said Friday afternoon.
San José officials did not find out until recently of the 2016 writings
San José officials said Friday that police had not been informed that customs officials had detained Cassidy in 2016 and that they found she had books on terrorism and a notebook full of hateful messages about her workplace.
A Department of Homeland Security official told CNN Thursday that Cassidy, 57, was taken for a second inspection after he returned from a trip to the Philippines on August 8, 2016.
“Whatever this arrest at the border was, it did not result in an arrest that appeared on his FBI criminal record and was not reported to the San José Police Department,” the San José mayor’s office said. Sam Liccardo, in a statement to CNN.
Customs officials detained Cassidy in 2016 at least in part because of red flags related to sex tourism in that part of the world, the official said. He also added that there is no indication that they have found anything related to sex tourism.
Customs and Border Protection officials searched his belongings. In addition to the black note book full of hateful messages about the VTA, they found books on terrorism and fear and manifestos, the official said.
The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the matter.
Mourners gather to show that the community was not broken
On Thursday, when loved ones and community members gathered at City Hall to remember the most recent victims of a mass shooting, nine blue uniform caps were seen as tribute over the nine photos of the VTA employees who died. .
The nine co-workers who lost their lives are 63-year-old Abdolvahab Alaghmandan; Adrian Balleza, 29; Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Lars Kepler Lane, 63; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; and Timothy Michael Romo, 49.
The San José shooting was the 232nd in which at least four people were injured this year, according to a count in the Archive of Gun Violence.
The VTA employees felt it very personally. In fact, they said there was a particular feeling of closeness in their community.
Kenneth Darden, a VTA operator for about 20 years, said the employees knew each other well and that he felt anesthetized as he asked himself the question: how can we prevent this from happening again?
“I don’t think we’ve really been able to come together as a nation and understand the importance of gun violence and how it has impacted so many families across the nation for so many years,” Darden said. “It is a difficult task to pose, but this is the United States. We should be able to come together and solve this problem, “he added.
Karman Singh came to City Hall with a bouquet of flowers for his older brother Taptejdeep Singh. But he said he was also there in honor of the other victims.
“He considered them a family, and his family is my family,” Singh said. He added that he wanted “to show people so much strength that no one dares to break anyone, to enter a place where there are dozens of people and take them one by one.”
The attacker fired with three guns, authorities say
At Thursday’s vigil, some carried signs calling for an end to gun violence.
“Every country has people with mental illness, but only the US has mass shootings! The reason? WEAPONS + NRA (National Rifle Association), ”said Brian Haberly’s sign.
The attacker had three semi-automatic pistols and 32 large-capacity magazines, according to the sheriff’s office.
The weapons he used in the shooting had been legally obtained and registered, FBI Special Agent Craig Fair of the San Francisco downtown field office told CNN on Thursday.
Fair said he believes he used all the weapons during the attack and that one of them jammed.
According to preliminary information, the man appeared to target his victims when he shot 39 times, Sheriff Smith told CNN on Thursday.
During the attack, he addressed a local union official who was there but did not work for the VTA. “I’m not going to shoot you,” he said, according to the sheriff.
A witness told KGO, a CNN affiliate, who also believed the attacker had missed certain people and appeared to select who he would shoot.
“He (…) was targeting certain people. I was passing by other people, ”VTA worker Kirk Bertolet told KGO on Wednesday night. “He let some people live while he shot other people to death.”
The attacker “took his own life in front of the officers,” Smith told CNN, who believes the officers’ quick response saved many lives.
He was a disgruntled employee, according to the sheriff
Federal investigators did not find any manifest or writing indicating motivation, Fair said, but noted that local police were studying the suspect’s activity on social media for clues.
Smith said the attacker was “very unhappy.”
“Based on recent developments in the investigation, we can say that the suspect has been a very disgruntled VTA employee for many years, which may have contributed to why he attacked VTA employees,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. press release Thursday.
Detectives continue to conduct interviews and review cell phone and video evidence in hopes of determining the motive for the shooting, the sheriff’s office said.
His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told the CNN Bay Area News Group affiliate that Cassidy resented her job.
Nelms was married to Cassidy for about 10 years until the couple filed for divorce in 2005. She had not been in contact with her ex-husband for about 13 years, according to the outlet.
She often spoke angrily about her co-workers and bosses, and in some cases directed the anger at her, Nelms told the outlet.
When they were married, he resented what he considered unfair job assignments “and” railed against his job when he got home, “he said.
911 is called one hour after the attacker arrives
Security camera footage shows the gunman arrived at the scene around 5:30 a.m. according to Fair.
Emergency calls for the shooting took place about an hour later, at the time when the employees of the midnight shift and the day shift crossed, said Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriff Russell Davis.
Minutes after authorities were called about the shooting, firefighters received calls about a fire at the suspect’s home, Smith told CNN. It is not yet clear how the fire started.
Fair, the FBI special agent in charge, told CNN that investigators found intact Molotov cocktails, made with paint thinner and alcohol, and multiple weapons at Cassidy’s residence. No explosive materials were found in his locker.
CNN’s Josh Campbell, Sarah Moon, Cheri Mossburg, Dan Przygoda and Geneva Sands contributed to this report.