The shooter, a firefighter specialist and engineer, was found dead inside a burning home in Acton, California, nearly 10 miles away from where he opened fire, according to officials.
The shooter died after an apparent gunshot wound that seemed to be self-inflicted, Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean said. The names of the shooter and victims have not yet been released.
Gunman wasn’t scheduled to work that day, officials say
Authorities identified one of the victims in Tuesday’s shooting as a 44-year-old man who suffered gunshot wounds to his torso and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a firefighter specialist and engineer who’s been with the department for more than 20 years, Osby said.
The other victim, a 54-year-old LAFD captain, was brought to a hospital with gunshot wounds and was in critical but stable condition Tuesday, Osby said.
“As a fire chief, I’ve dealt with a lot of death and a lot of fallen members of our department and I always prayed we would never have a line-of-duty death,” Osby said through tears. “I never thought that if it occurred it would occur in this fashion.”
According to Osby, the suspected gunman was not scheduled to work Tuesday, and the shooter and two victims all worked different shifts.
Investigators received a name and vehicle description of the suspect from witness testimony, which led them to the house in Acton, according to Brandon Dean with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau. The home was on fire when authorities arrived, he said.
While fighting the house fire, deputies saw a man in a pool with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
“This is very early on, the actual motive we’re unsure of,” Dean said.
Another shooting left nine dead in San Jose last week
Cassidy, a VTA employee, fatally shot his coworkers inside two buildings around the time of a morning shift change before killing himself in front of responding law enforcement officers, authorities said.
“He … was targeting certain people. He walked by other people,” VTA worker Kirk Bertolet had told KGO. “He let other people live as he gunned down other people.”
Authorities said the three guns recovered at the scene were legally obtained and registered.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told CNN that Cassidy knew the victims, who were all VTA employees. “It’s clear the victims and all the colleagues knew the shooter well,” he said.
They were identified by the medical examiner as Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; Adrian Balleza, 29; Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Lars Kepler Lane, 63; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; and Timothy Michael Romo, 49.
Liccardo described them as “essential workers” who risked their lives and showed up every day throughout the pandemic.
Newly released body camera footage from the moment five officers first encountered Cassidy shows the minutes before authorities found him inside a VTA building sitting in a chair, unresponsive with a gun in his hand.
“The shot that went through the window was the first of three shots, but that is preliminary right now,” Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith said. “The next two shots — he shot himself once under the chin, it wasn’t fatal and then in the side of the head.”
CNN’s Amir Vera, Cheri Mossburg, Stella Chan, Alexandra Meeks, Jason Hanna and Josh Campbell contributed to this report.