Thursday May 27, 2021
San José mourns eight deaths
The massacre in the tram depot
After another firearms attack in the USA with eight dead, the lax gun law is once again the focus of the political debate. US President Biden speaks of an epidemic and wants tougher laws. The number of gun casualties this year alone gives him a good argument.
New firearms massacre in the USA: An employee shot at least eight people in a tram depot in the Californian city of San José. According to the police, the man opened fire early in the morning on the premises of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Several people suffered serious injuries. Then he took his own life. “I can confirm that there are currently eight victims who have been pronounced dead,” said police spokesman Russell Davis. “And there is a suspect who has been pronounced dead.”
Officer Laurie Smith said the attacker took his own life when security forces arrived: “I’m sure the suspect took his own life when he knew the police were there.” Davis said there was no exchange of fire between the man and the police. The motive of the 57-year-old VTA employee according to media reports is still unclear. This is still being investigated, said police spokesman Davis.
Officials said the shots were fired at a morning union meeting. At the time, around 80 employees were on the site in San José, south of San Francisco. Police and rescue workers arrived with a large contingent and dozens of vehicles. After the attack, explosives experts searched the area where trams are parked and serviced for possible hidden explosives.
“Talking angry about colleagues”
Several US media unanimously report that the shooter is Samuel Cassidy. The police also investigated an apartment fire that allegedly broke out in the suspect’s home shortly before the shooting. Cassidy’s ex-wife told the Bay Area News Group, a regional newspaper group, that he had “often spoken angry about his colleagues and superiors.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom spoke of a “tragic moment” for the state. “What the hell is wrong with us and when are we going to get it under control?” Newsom asked at a press conference, praising the rapid intervention of the security forces. US President Joe Biden expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and ordered the flags to be raised at half mast. “There are now at least eight families that will never be whole again,” said Biden. He again called on Congress to take steps to contain the “gun violence plague” in the United States.
17,300 deaths from weapons alone in 2021
Deadly gun attacks are repeated in the United States. According to the specialized website Gun Violence Archive, more than 17,300 people have died from gunshot wounds this year, more than half from suicides. In March alone, eight people were killed in an attack on several massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia, and ten people in an attack on a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. In April, an ex-employee shot dead eight people at a Fedex distribution center in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Pistols and rifles are widely used in the United States. Attempts to tighten the very loose gun law have repeatedly failed. President Biden recently decided to tighten some rules; for more far-reaching reforms, however, he would need the approval of Congress. There, legislative proposals for stronger gun control fail time and again due to the resistance of the conservative Republicans.