Chimney Sweep

California mass killer had arsenal of weapons, ammo at his house

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The gunman, who harbored a seething hatred for his California workplace, collected an arsenal and 25,000 rounds of ammunition in the house he tried to burn down before killing nine employees at a train station, authorities said after the search the apartment .

Samuel James Cassidy’s San Jose home was a hoarder’s nest of clutter and guns that included 12 pistols, nearly two dozen gas cans, and a dozen or more suspected Molotov cocktails, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s officials said Friday.

The cache was in addition to the three 9mm handguns that Cassidy, 57, brought to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose on Wednesday, authorities said. He had also packed a travel bag with 32 high capacity magazines and fired 39 rounds before killing himself as law enforcement got closer.

While witnesses said Cassidy appeared to be targeting certain people, the sheriff’s office said Friday, “It is clear that this was a planned event and the suspect was willing to use his firearms to take as many lives as possible “.

Cassidy also burned his house down before heading to work several miles away by sticking bullets in a saucepan on top of a stove that apparently exploded and ignited fire accelerators placed in the kitchen, sheriff officials said.

At a press conference that afternoon, city police spokesman Steve Aponte described the house as “very cluttered, with lots of materials blocking passageways and entrances”.

Weapons were hidden near doors and in crawl spaces.

They could have been placed there so Cassidy could grab them in an emergency like law enforcement arriving, Sheriffs Sgt. Joe Piazza said.

Cassidy’s locker at the marshalling yard contained “materials for bombs, fuses, the precursors of explosives,” said Sheriff Laurie Smith.

Questions remained as to what sparked Cassidy’s fatal rampage and whether there were any warning signs.

Patrick Gorman, special envoy for the San Francisco Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said he was unaware of any information about Cassidy, such as tips from the public his department gave before the shooting.

US customs officials who arrested him on his return from the Philippines in 2016 found books on terrorism and fear, as well as a notebook with notes about how much he hated the Valley Transportation Authority. But he was released and a Department of Homeland Security memo about the encounter has not been released to local authorities.

Cassidy had worked for the Valley Transportation Authority for more than 20 years, but according to his ex-wife, he had expressed hatred and resentment against his job for at least a decade. A colleague described him as an outsider who did not mix with others.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the union representing transit workers at the station tried on Friday to refute reports that Cassidy was supposed to attend a labor hearing with a union official on Wednesday over racist statements.

John Courtney, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265, said in a statement that union officials “were not there, do not repeat” to attend such a hearing, “or respond to job or race-related complaints.”

KGO-TV reported Friday that the Valley Transportation Authority had confirmed that Cassidy would not face a disciplinary hearing on the day of the shooting and that no further hearings were planned.

Neighbors and former lovers described Cassidy as moody, rude, and sometimes prone to outbursts of anger, especially after drinking. But they expressed their shock that he would kill.

Cassidy’s older father, James, told Mercury News in San Jose that his son was bipolar. He said this was not an excuse for the shooting and apologized to the victims’ families.

“I don’t think anything I could say could alleviate their grief,” he said.

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Dazio answered from Los Angeles.

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