The county sheriff said that while bullets were fired during the fatal shooting at the Northern California Light Rail Yard, law enforcement officers first ran into the building at the scene, taking their “lives in their hands” to stop the massacre.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters Wednesday, “When our deputies walked through the door, he was initially firing bullets. When our deputy saw him, he took his own life.” Deputies “were passing through the halls saying, ‘Sheriff’s office!’ He knew at the time that his time to shoot had expired. “
Nine people were killed and the gunman died in a shootout Wednesday at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail hub in San Jose.
Smith said Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies and a team of San Jose police officers were the first to respond to the 911 calls Wednesday morning reporting the shooting.
“They are my true heroes,” Smith said. “Active shooting was going on at the time. The victims were shot in two different buildings. But they responded, the way they responded, they took their lives in their own hands and I’m sure when the suspect Upon finding out that law enforcement was there, he took his own life. “
More updates on the San Jose shooting:9th victim killed after firing at rail yard in San Jose; Gunman was a longtime railway worker
Spokesman Russell Davis said the shooting occurred across the street from Sheriff’s Office headquarters. When there were multiple reports of shootings, the county’s active shooter protocol was activated, calling several law enforcement agencies and surrounding fire departments.
While officers were quickly on the scene, Davis said he did not exchange bullets with the suspect, who shot himself while watching law enforcement.
“They didn’t wait,” Davis said. “They immediately went to the scene and gave first aid and drove the victims out of the building as quickly as possible.”
He said: “With the training we are doing with our active shooter protocol, this situation can become very bad.”
Since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, police departments across the country have drastically changed the process and protocol in how they respond to active shooter incidents. Instead of securing the area and waiting for backup, law enforcement on the first scene is typically trained to engage immediately.
“These things happen so quickly that the first officer can’t wait,” Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, told USA Today in March of a shootout at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. “The officer has to engage. It’s highly risky, but unfortunately, in situations like this, seconds matter.”
More information on police response to active shooters:How the law enforcement strategy has evolved over the years
How did the shooting of San Jose unfold?
According to the San Jose Mercury News, security camera footage of a neighbor showed the gunman leaving the house with a duffel bag at 5:39 am.
Smith said that at around six in the morning he arrived at the light rail facility with a duffel bag.
6:29 AM San Jose Fire Department received Notice of a fire at a lumber business about 5 miles from the rail yard. It is not clear whether this fire is connected to the shooting.
Davis said that at 6:34 am, there were 911 calls reporting the shooting at the light rail yard.
Two minutes later, at 6:36 am San Jose Fire Department responded The call of a fire later came to the home of a person identified as the suspected shooter. The fire department said the damage was “massive; the structure is currently deserted.”
Smith said one of the first 911 calls took the deputy six minutes to find the gunman on the third floor of the building. While there are no cameras inside the two buildings of the rail yard, Smith said the footage captured him moving from one place to another.
Who is suspected of shooting San Jose? The ex-wife gave details of the anger problems, the authorities investigated whether the fire was related to the shooting
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Tweeted at 7:12 AM Delegates were responding to the scene of the shooting.
On At 8:08 am, the office tweeted The shooter was “down”.
At a 10:30 am news conference, Davis said eight victims and the shooter were killed. He also announced that a bomb dog had detected explosive material as law enforcement was cleaning up the scene. According to Mercury News, the bomb squad also entered the suspect’s house at 10:48 am
in the noon, VTA suspended Light rail service.
At approximately 7:30 a.m., the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office identified eight victims: Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Tapatejadeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose DeJesus Hernández, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolwahab Alghamandon, 63, and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
A ninth victim, Alex Ward Fritch, 49, was identified by the coroner’s office around 11:30 p.m.
What we know about the victims:He tried to warn his coworkers, then was shot: Victims of shooting at San Jose Rail Yard mourn
Contributions: Dennis Wagner and Kristal Hayes, USA Today; The Associated Press