San Jose shooter Samuel Cassidy's ex-wife Cecilia Nelms says he spoke of killing VTA workers for years

Nelms broke down in tears, admitting the horrifying incident left her shocked. She said her ex-husband would come home and rage about things at work

                            San Jose shooter Samuel Cassidy's ex-wife Cecilia Nelms says he spoke of killing VTA workers for years
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)

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: Samuel J Cassidy, 57, the suspected gunman who shot and killed eight people before ending his own life at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail hub in Santa Clara County had some major anger management issues, as revealed by his ex-wife. 

Cassidy is believed to have opened fire on Wednesday, May 26, at the California rail yard, before taking his own life as law enforcement rushed in, according to the authorities. “When our deputies went through the door, initially he was still firing rounds. When our deputy saw him, he took his life,” Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters. Deputies “were going through hallways saying, ‘Sheriff’s office!’ He knew at that time that his time for firing shots was over.”


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Who is Cecilia Nelms?

Cassidy was married to Cecilia Nelms for 10 years before the former filed for divorce in 2005. She had been treated for depression after their divorce and she had not been in contact with her former husband for the last 13 years. 


Speaking to the Associated Press outside her home on Wednesday, following the massacre, Nelms broke down in tears, admitting that the horrifying incident had left her shocked. She also added that her ex-husband would come home and express anger regarding things that happened at work. As he talked about it, “he would get more mad,” she said. “He could dwell on things.”

“He had two sides,” Nelms added. “When he was in a good mood, he was a great guy. When he was mad, he was mad.” Even though Cassidy had a bad temper and would tell her that he wanted to kill the people he worked with, Nelms said, “but I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now.” When Cassidy lost his temper, Nelms said there were times she was scared. He was someone who could physically hurt others, she said.

Cassidy's neighbor agreed he had aggressive streak

Neighbor Doug Suh described Cassidy as a “lonely guy," who despite living in the area for 20 years and his roots there, seemed quiet and unfriendly. Suh added that since he moved to Angmar Court five years ago, he never saw any friends or family visiting Cassidy. He said he'd tried to talk with Cassidy multiple times, saying hello and offering other pleasantries, but failed to get much of a response. "Every time I say hi, he’s ignored me," Suh said. “I was surprised though...I didn’t think he was going to ... kill people like that."

Once, Cassidy even yelled at him and told him to stay away as he was backing up his car. "I’d say hello and he’d just look at me without saying anything,” Suh told the Mercury News. “One day I was (crossing over his driveway while I backed out) and he yelled at me, ‘Don’t even go on my driveway!’ After that I never talked to him again.”