San Jose mass shooter Samuel Cassidy had book on terrorism, made notes about hating VTA job 5 years ago

Homeland Security detained San Jose mass shooter Samuel Cassidy in 2016 and found his notes about hating VTA job, but he said he had no problem at work


                            San Jose mass shooter Samuel Cassidy had book on terrorism, made notes about hating VTA job 5 years ago
Samuel Cassidy and the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose where the shooting took place (Santa Clara Sheriff's office/Philip Pacheco/Getty Images)

The gunman, Samuel Cassidy, who killed his nine coworkers in San Jose, California, had a hatred towards his workplace which he expressed in notes discovered when he was searched almost five years ago, a Department of Homeland Security official revealed on Thursday, May 27.

On Wednesday, May 26, Cassidy, 57, arrived at the light rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose around 6 am with a duffel bag filled with semi-automatic handguns and high-capacity magazines, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith stated. Cassidy fired a total of 39 gunshots and later killed himself as deputies closed in on the facility, which serves the county of more than 1M people in the heart of Silicon Valley. More than 100 people were there at the time and authorities found five victims in one building and two in another, Smith said.

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HERO Tent President Kiana Simmons, and Amar Singh of San Jose tend to a vigil organized by HERO Tent, following the mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light-rail yard, outside City Hall on May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California (Philip Pacheco/Getty Images)

The killer memo book

On August 8, 2016, Cassidy was taken for secondary inspection while returning from a trip to the Philippines. The US Customs and Border Protection officers searched his belongings and found a black memo book filled with notes about hatred towards the Valley Transportation Authority. Apart from this, the officers also found books about "terrorism and fear and manifestos". The Wall Street Journal first reported the CBP's search of Cassidy. Cassidy was working for the Valley Transportation Authority as a maintenance worker since 2012.

When the alarming memo was found and he was questioned if he was facing problems at work, he reportedly denied it and said "no". Some reports suggest that Cassidy was detained because of red flags regarding sex tourism in the Philippines, the DHS official said. There is no indication that anything related to sex tourism was found. It doesn't appear that follow-up action was taken after the 2016 search, the official said. Cassidy once again traveled to the Philippines after the 2016 inspection, the official said, but it's not clear if he was extensively searched, like before. CBP has broad authority to search travelers at airports and other places where people enter the United States.

Investigators work the scene of a mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light-rail yard on May 26, 2021, in San Jose, California (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Getty Images)

Even though the authorities have not established a motive for the shooting, court documents and interviews reveal that those who knew the gunman described him as a man with anger issues dating back at least a decade. The Santa Clara Sheriff's Office said in a news release on Thursday, May 27: "Based on recent developments in the investigation we can say that the suspect has been a highly disgruntled VTA employee for many years, which may have contributed to why he targeted VTA employees."

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