SAN JOSE, Calif. (KION) It has been two weeks since 9 Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) employees were killed in a workplace shooting, and the agency said it has received questions about the personnel history of the suspected shooter, identified as VTA employee Samuel Cassidy.
In a statement, VTA management said they have been looking through Cassidy's personnel file and other related documents to see if they can learn more about the situation surrounding the shooting. So far, they said there is no record of any formal discipline for threatening behavior or violence during his 20 years with the VTA, but four separate incidents were brought up to management.
The four incidents, three of which were in 2020, resulted in disciplinary actions ranging from a verbal warning to a two-day leave without pay.
This is what the VTA said happened in each of the incidents:
- July 16, 2019- Cassidy was sent home without pay for two days for refusing to follow company policy. Company policy required him to sign out a two-way radio that he needed for his job.
- Jan. 29, 2020- Cassidy reportedly got into a verbal fight with a coworker, and it was reported to VTA Employee relations and the VTA Office of Civil Rights. The coworker told a supervisor, "He scares me. If someone was to go postal, it’d be him." The agency said nothing was found in Cassidy's disciplinary history to support the concern, and the issue was referred to Cassidy's department manager. VTA staff said they are continuing to research the incident to see if there is any other relevant documentation.
- Oct. 21, 2020- The VTA said Cassidy refused to attend a mandatory CPR re-certification class. He told them it was because of his concern about COVID-19, but the agency said several accommodations were provided, but there was no resolution.
- Nov. 28, 2020- Cassidy was accused of unexcused leave and improper radio communication. The agency said he had trouble clocking in for his shift and used a VTA two-way radio for personal communication, which is against policy. He then left without permission instead of resolving the issue, according to the VTA.
VTA management said that so far, they have not found documentation or history of complaints about Cassidy making racist or threatening comments toward coworkers. They have also not found records of information about Cassidy from the Department of Homeland Security.
"Based on requests for public records, there are thousands of pages of documents that include emails, attachments, and other materials that still require review. VTA is committed to providing these documents as soon as is practical, but notes an obligation to protect the confidentiality of employees, vendors, and other people who are not involved in this incident in any way," the agency wrote in a statement.
The victims of the shooting at the VTA are identified 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.