Active Shooter – San Jose Rail Yard

by | May 26, 2021 | Situational Awareness

Active Shooter Incident Causes Multiple Injuries and Fatalities at Light Rail Valley Transportation Authority Control Center and Maintenance Yard in San Jose, California

New reporting indicates a suspected active shooter incident took place on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in the morning hours at a light rail control center and maintenance yard in San Jose, California.

At approximately 8:36 am PDT today, Deputy Russell Davis with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department briefed the following points in a press conference:

  • Multiple deputies and surrounding law enforcement entities responded to a report of multiple shots fired.
  • As of 10:12 am, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s department posted to Twitter a notification of an active shooter investigation was ongoing, urging civilians to “Please stay away from the area” and “More info to
    follow”.
  • The incident occurred at 101 West Younger Ave at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) control center hub and light trail yard in San Jose, California. This site is a control center hub that stores multiple VTA trains and has a maintenance yard.
  • No information released on shooter incident as event unfolded or weapon/weapons used; the investigation remains ongoing.
  • Suspect is confirmed as deceased, public safety in the area assured.
  • As of 11:08 am, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s department verified “Shooter is down”.
  • Multiple victims injured and fatalities reported. Exact numbers pending as medical response and re-unification efforts remain ongoing.

Separately, unconfirmed news reporting indicates the following:

  • VTA spokesperson reportedly confirmed the building where the shooting took place required security access.
  • A VTA employee’s mother allegedly stated to media that the shooting occurred during a union meeting.
  • Sources indicate as many as an unconfirmed seven people may have died in the shooting.

UPDATE 1 – Deceased Suspect was a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Employee that Allegedly Set House Fire Before Targeting Other VTA Employees

  • A follow-on press conference held on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at approximately 10:45 am PDT by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department’s Public Information Officer, confirmed the deceased suspect that carried out the active shooter incident was a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) employee.
  • Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith affirmed there are nine total fatalities involved – eight victims, also VTA employees, and one suspect.
  • The initial report of shots fired was received by the city’s emergency communications center at 6:34 am PDT, resulting in the subsequent activation of the active shooter protocol notifying multiple law enforcement departments and fire and emergency services for quick-turn response and evacuations.
  • Exact details of the incident and identities are not yet released; however, law enforcement officials have confirmed the VTA facility that houses the control center is cordoned off and remains under active investigation.
  • Seemingly competing statements indicate the shooter “opened fire at the maintenance and dispatch center” while another stated the shooting took place in the rail yard; clarifications to follow.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Special Agent in Charge for the San Francisco Field Office, Craig Fair, reported FBI assistance and evidence resources for the “large crime scene” are in place for local law enforcement leads. Additionally, FBI services for families and the reunification process will continue for as long as they are needed.
  • Further, law enforcement officials stated that a bomb dog has alerted within the crime scene area and that they are still searching for explosive devices in the building, referencing use of robots and Xray capabilities to render safe assessment and response.
  • VTA Chairman reported the city’s light rail services will be suspended at noon local time today with bus bridge to service passenger routes.