Five law enforcement officers demonstrated “extraordinary” and “exceptional” courage when they closed in on a mass shooter who killed nine people at a San Jose workplace while hearing gun shots go off, a sheriff’s department official said during a Tuesday press conference.
Body camera footage of the incident, released publicly Tuesday, shows two sheriff’s department personnel and three San Jose police officers arriving at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and making contact with the shooter in less than 4 and a half minutes.
The shooter, 57, whose name has been withheld per Daily Wire policy, is believed to have killed himself after realizing law enforcement were closing in on his location.
The footage has been described below:
Law enforcement arrived at the Santa Clara Transportation Authority shortly after 6:30 am, after receiving calls about shots fired within the workplace. Within minutes, a sheriff’s sergeant, one sheriff’s deputy, and three police officers arrived at the building.
“Let’s go,” multiple law enforcement officers can be heard saying at once, as they set off, guns drawn, in the direction of a staircase on the outside of the multi-story building.
Within 45 seconds, they surround the stairs. The deputy, wearing the body camera and holding a rifle, leads the way up to the third story. At the top of the stairs — now two minutes after they arrived — a door opens. The officers shout “put your hands up.”
A man emerges from the door and says he is a supervisor. He gives the contact team his key card so that they can get into the building. The team, still led by the sheriff’s deputy, passes through the door into a narrow break room. Within seconds, they make their way to a door at the other end. “I’m going to swing it open, you ready,” asks one officer.
He opens the door, and the room is dark. The officers make their way across it with flashlights. “I’m clear right,” says the deputy with the bodycam, as he moves forward, looking under office desks with his rifle-mounted flashlight. It’s now been three minutes since they set out for the stairs. The deputy says, “We need that keycard over here bro.”
A loud single gunshot is heard in another room. One of them says “oh, s***,” and the deputy appears to instinctively move in the direction of the sound. They move toward the sound as one of them radios “shots fired: third floor.” Seconds later, they’re at a double door at the end of the room. A window pane on the door has a bullet hole in it.
Looking through the window pane, the deputy says “I’ve got somebody down in front of me.” The team opens the door, and the sergeant shouts, “let me see your hands.” Slowly, they move forward towards a man by a stairwell in a chair. He is the shooter, and dead.
The footage below, which is disturbing, depicts the law enforcement response as described above:
Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith noted the training officers receive, saying the contact team “hardly spoke a word to each other” in executing their mission. “They knew what their job was, they did their job, and actually then confronted the suspect that took his own life,” she said.
“This was a tragic loss of nine people, and we all grieve. There were over a hundred VTA employees on-site that morning, and I believe the bravery of all law enforcement personnel really prevented the loss of additional life,” she added.
The Santa Clara County Coroner’s office identified the victims as Paul Delacruz Megia, 42, Taptejdeep Singh, 36, Adrian Balleza, 29, Jose Dejesus Hernandez, 35, Timothy Michael Romo, 49, Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40, Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63, Lars Kepler Lane, 63, and Alex Ward Fritch, 49, according to the Associated Press.
According to The Los Angeles Times, officials say the shooter was armed with three 9-millimeter handguns and nearly three dozen magazines holding 12 rounds each. Law enforcement officials have said the shooter was a “disgruntled employee.” The motive for the shooting is not clear, and remains under investigation.