Colleague of California shooter feared he might ‘go postal’

Jun 10, 2021, 1:45 PM | Updated: 4:29 pm

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A gunman who killed nine co-workers at a California rail yard last month was the subject of four investigations into his workplace conduct, and after one verbal altercation a colleague worried that the man could “go postal,” according to internal documents published Thursday.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, where the May 26 shooting occurred, described the investigations and released more than 200 pages of emails and other documents relating to the gunman Thursday, the Mercury News reported.

It was the first time the rail authority has said whether there were warning signs or if co-workers ever raised concerns about 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy before he opened fire on colleagues at the rail yard in San Jose, killing nine co-workers and then taking his own life.

In January 2020, Cassidy had a verbal altercation with a co-worker, the authority said. While being questioned by a supervisor, an employee reported hearing another colleague say of Cassidy, “He scares me. If someone was to go postal, it’d be him.”

“Upon further investigation, there was nothing in Cassidy’s disciplinary history, or additional information to explain or support that concern,” the authority wrote in a statement Thursday.

The authority’s statement described three other incidents involving Cassidy, including a July 2019 suspension without pay for two days. The authority said the action was taken for insubordination after Cassidy’s “refusal to follow company policy in signing out a two-way radio.”

Last October, Cassidy refused to attend a mandatory CPR training, citing concerns about COVID-19.

Last November, he left work without permission after he had trouble clocking in for his shift and, later, “improperly used a VTA two-way radio for personal communication, rather than for operational matters.”

In the two weeks since the shooting, questions have swirled about what might have set off Cassidy’s lethal rampage and whether there were warning signs.

Authorities have described him as a “highly disgruntled” employee at the Valley Transportation Authority, where he had worked for more than 20 years.

His ex-wife said after the shooting that he had expressed hatred and resentment of his workplace for at least a decade. A co-worker described him as an outsider who didn’t mingle with others.

Neighbors and former lovers described Cassidy as moody, unfriendly and prone to angry outbursts at times, especially after drinking. But they expressed shock he would kill.

After the mass shooting, authorities found an arsenal and 25,000 rounds of ammunition at Cassidy’s home, which he tried to burn down before going on the deadly shooting spree. Santa Clara County sheriff’s officials said they found weaponry that included 12 guns, nearly two dozen cans of gasoline and a dozen or more suspected Molotov cocktails.

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Colleague of California shooter feared he might ‘go postal’