ABC News Screenshot; chyron from last night, before ninth victim died.

America is once again going through the cycle of horror, anguish, and ultimately probably not doing anything following yet another mass shooting, this time in San Jose, California, where a public transit employee went on a shooting rampage at a rail yard where he worked, killing nine people and himself. Eight of the victims died at the scene, and a ninth died later.

The killer was identified as Samuel Cassidy. Like many, possibly all, of the victims, he was an employee of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), which provides bus and light rail service throughout the Bay Area community. The office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner released the names and ages of the nine dead on Wednesday:

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. Alex Ward Fritch, 49, was the ninth victim who died Wednesday evening.

Cassidy's former wife and a former girlfriend both said he had a history of ragey behavior and of taking his anger out on them. While it's too early to know what the shooter's motives were, we'll just note again that angry misogynists commit a large portion of mass shootings. Mind you, we couldn't just go treating every man who abuses women as a potential mass shooter, because Crom only knows what that would do to the economy? (Easy: We'd get lots of men into therapy and there'd be an expansion of social services, and who can even calculate the potential benefits of greater mental health in this godforsaken Republic?)


Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, in a press briefing this morning, said the dead were found in two different buildings at the rail yard, suggesting that Cassidy "went from building to building." Smith said that Cassidy didn't exchange fire with police, but that he apparently shot himself when he became aware they were on the scene. More, from NBC News:

He had two semiautomatic handguns and 11 loaded magazines, according to the sheriff. Investigators are looking into whether Cassidy targeted specific co-workers, but they do know "he was very deliberate, very fast. He knew where employees would be," Smith said. [...]

The early morning attack came at a particularly busy time at the transit hub as overnight workers overlap with, and passed off their duties to, colleagues checking in for early-morning shifts.

Smith praised officers for their quick arrival and action, saying that when deputies and San Jose police ran into buildings at the transit complex, they "saved many lives."

Smith said that possible bomb-making materials were found in a locker believed to be Cassidy's.

In addition to the shootings, Cassidy apparently set fire to his home about 10 miles away. When fire crews arrived, the home was "engulfed in flames."

Authorities believe there was ammunition inside the home and firefighters smelled an accelerant when they arrived, sources said.

Investigators are working on a theory that Cassidy planted an explosive in the home to go off around the same time as the shooting, Smith said Wednesday.

At least no one was hurt in the fire.

A woman who dated the gunman for about six months in 2008 told NBC News she believes he was "not mentally stable." She said that when she told him she didn't want to marry him, he "was so angry, yelling and screaming [...] And then he started making trouble for me."

One day not long after the breakup, she said he stole her brand new car out of her driveway — a 2008 Toyota Camry, which he had the key for. She said she reported it to police, but nothing happened. He returned the car a month later, with a broken bumper and other damage.

In March 2009, he filed a restraining order against her, online court records show. The ex-girlfriend said he made up the claims. She went on to file a restraining order against him.

CNN reports that, in court documents, the woman said Cassidy had violent mood swings that got worse when he was drinking, and that he played "mind games" with her. She also said "Several times during the relationship he became intoxicated, enraged and forced himself on me sexually."

The shooter's former wife told the San Jose Mercury News that Cassidy "had two sides ... When he was in a good mood, he was a great guy. When he was mad, he was mad." They had been married about a decade before they divorced in 2005, and she said she hadn't seen him in roughly 13 years.

He would frequently come home angry from work, and get angrier as he talked about how badly he felt he was treated at work, and he would sometimes turn his anger on her, his ex-wife said.

When Cassidy was at the VTA during their marriage, he resented what he saw as unfair work assignments, she said, and would rant about his job when he got home. [...]

"He just thought that some people got more easy-going things at work, and he'd get the harder jobs," she said.

Following the shootings yesterday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom sounded a hell of a lot like Barack Obama following the umpteenth mass shooting during his presidency, when Obama lamented,

Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it. We've become numb to this.

Newsom told reporters near the scene of yesterday's shooting,

There's a numbness ... there's a sameness to this. [...] Anywhere, USA. It feels like this happens over and over and over again. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

In a statement released by the White House before the ninth victim's death had been announced, President Joe Biden called again for Congress to take action on guns, as if even the easiest, most broadly-supported measures to curb firearms violence might be achievable this time. He noted that many details remain to be seen, but that some things are certain.

There are at least eight families who will never be whole again. There are children, parents, and spouses who are waiting to hear whether someone they love is ever going to come home. There are union brothers and sisters – good, honest, hardworking people – who are mourning their own.

Biden too noted how common these horrors have become:

I have the solemn duty of yet again of ordering the flag to be lowered at half-staff, just weeks after doing so following the mass shootings at spas in and around Atlanta; in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado; at a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina; and at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Enough. [...]

Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more.

And now it's on to the next stages of the national ritual: the thoughts and prayers, the grief, the profiles of the victims, the gun humpers showing up to carefully explain that anyone saying "automatic" instead of "semi-automatic" isn't allowed to have an opinion, and the reflection that if the massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary and at Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High didn't lead to action, we'll all go through this again, forever and amen.

Jesus fucking Christ, we need to end this.

[NBC News / CNN / San Jose Mercury News / White House / Mother Jones]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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