SAN JOSE: The gunman who killed nine of his co-workers at a California rail yard had stockpiled weapons and 25,000 rounds of ammunition at his house before setting it on fire to coincide with the bloodshed at the workplace he seethed about for years, authorities said.
Investigators found 12 guns, multiple cans of gasoline and suspected Molotov cocktails at Samuel James Cassidy’s house in San Jose, the Santa Clara County sheriffs office said in a news release.
He also rigged an unusual time-delay method to ensure the house caught fire while he was out, putting ammunition in a cooking pot on a stove in his home, Deputy Russell Davis said. The liquid in the pot investigators don’t yet know what was inside reached a boiling point, igniting an accelerant and potentially the gunpowder in the bullets nearby.
The cache at the home the 57-year-old torched was on top of the three 9mm handguns he brought on Wednesday to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, authorities said. He also had 32 high-capacity magazines and fired 39 shots.
The handguns found at the site were legally registered to Cassidy, Davis said, without elaborating on how he obtained them. Davis did not specify what type of guns officers found at his home, nor if they were legally owned.
Authorities described a home filled with clutter, with items piled up to the point where it appeared Cassidy might be a hoarder, and weapons stored near the home’s doorways and in other spots.
Sgt. Joe Piazza told reporters the variety of spots where Cassidy stashed the guns might be so he could access them in a time of emergency, such as if law enforcement came to his house.
Cassidy killed himself as sheriffs deputies rushed into the rail yard complex in the heart of Silicon Valley, where he fatally shot nine men ranging in age from 29 to 63. He had worked there for more than 20 years. What prompted the bloodshed remains under investigation, officials said.
While witnesses and Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith have said Cassidy appeared to target certain people, the sheriff’s office said that it is clear that this was a planned event and the suspect was prepared to use his firearms to take as many lives as he possibly could.” Casssidys elderly father, James, told the Mercury News in San Jose that his son was bipolar. He said that was no excuse for the shooting and apologised to the victims’ families.
I don’t think anything I could say could ease their grief. I’m really, really very sorry about that.
Neighbours and former lovers described him as moody, unfriendly and prone to angry outbursts at times. But they expressed shock he would kill.
Cassidys ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, said he had talked about killing people at work more than a decade ago, describing him as resentful and angry over what he perceived as unfair assignments.
US customs officers even caught him in 2016 with books about terrorism and fear as well as a memo book filled with notes about how much he hated the Valley Transportation Authority. But he was let go, and a resulting Department of Homeland Security memo on the encounter was not shared with local authorities.
Its not clear why customs officers detained Cassidy on his return from the Philippines. The contents of the memo, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, were described by a Biden administration official.