California railroad yard gunman faced discipline over racist comments – local media
The transit worker who shot nine co-workers at a rail yard in San Jose, Calif., Was scheduled to attend a workplace pre-disciplinary hearing that day into complaints he had made racist remarks to his peers, local media reported on Friday.
Authorities say Samuel Cassidy, 57, was armed with three semi-automatic handguns when he opened fire just after a morning union meeting Wednesday at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) tram maintenance yard in San Jose.
Cassidy committed suicide minutes later as police arriving at the scene closed in, according to the police account.
NBC’s San Francisco Bay Area affiliate KNTV, citing unidentified law enforcement sources, reported that the “Skelly hearing” he faced that day stemmed from a VTA investigation into complaints he made racially inappropriate remarks to co-workers while working as a station maintenance employee.
KNTV said Cassidy allegedly bragged to his colleagues about having guns and explosives, although the TV channel said he was unsure whether these allegations were on the agenda of the hearing or had been brought to the attention of the authorities.
A Skelly hearing is a due process conference that workers facing disciplinary action are entitled to under California employment law before being fired, demoted, suspended, or faced with a pay cut. The hearing ensures that an employee is made aware of the allegations and has the opportunity to refute or mitigate them.
Neither the VTA nor the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to requests for comment on the KNTV report.
Sheriff Laurie Smith said on Thursday that Cassidy had been “a very disgruntled employee of VTA for many years,” which may have prompted her attack, the latest of at least nine American mass shootings in the three months that claimed the lives of four or more people.
Smith said investigators are still trying to determine the precise motive behind Cassidy’s violent explosion.
His ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, told local media he had run wild about her colleagues and bosses and criticized her at times.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a note from the Department of Homeland Security, reported that US customs and border officials arrested Cassidy in 2016 while returning from the Philippines and found that he professed a hatred of his whereabouts. of work.
At the time, Cassidy had in his possession “books on terrorism and fear and manifestos … as well as a black memo filled with numerous notes on how he hates the ATV,” according to the Journal, citing the memo.
In an on-camera interview with KNTV, Sheriff Smith said the shooter fired about 39 shots. Attempts to pinpoint a specific motive for the mass murder were hampered because electronic evidence was destroyed in a fire at Cassidy’s house he is believed to have set before the shooting.
“There is a high probability that we lost the ability to operate the devices. The house was cremated, the second floor collapsed,” said Craig Fair, special agent in charge of the FBI field office. in San Francisco, on KNTV.
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