A public transport worker who killed nine people at a train station in San Jose, California, has been accused of violent outbursts and threats against his ex-girlfriend and ex-wife, according to interviews with women and court documents.
The shooter has been identified as Samuel Cassidy, who works for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), legal sources said. He shot himself and killed himself at the scene on Wednesday, officials said.
Cassidy's ex-girlfriend, who asked not to be named, told NBC News that the two had been dating for six months in 2008. They met at Match.com while we were in San Jose and he was living in San Mateo. Cassidy had previously complained that they were not having enough sex, but a few months later he asked her to marry him, he said. He refused, and he did not take it seriously.
“She was so angry, screaming and screaming. Then he started to confuse me, ”she said.
One day shortly after the split, he said, he stole his brand new car out of his driveway - the 2008 Toyota Camry, with his key. He said he reported the matter to police but nothing happened until he returned the car a month later, with a bomb and another accident.
Law enforcement officials walk in the courtyard of the lighted Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) where a mass shooting took place on May 26, 2021 in San Jose, California.
Police in riot gear stormed the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) compound on May 26, 2021 in San Jose, California. Philip Pacheco / Getty Photos
In March 2009, Cassidy filed a restraining order against him, with online court records showing. His ex-girlfriend claimed to be the perpetrator. He continued to file a restraining order against him.
He was shocked but not completely surprised when he learned that he was the one responsible for the shooting.
"She is mentally ill," he said. “When I refused, he became furious. He could not control his emotions. ”
In court documents obtained by NBC News, his ex-girlfriend accused Cassidy of sexual harassment and emotional turmoil due to bipolar disorder which was exacerbated by alcohol abuse.
He got drunk, angry and sexually assaulted her several times during their courtship, he said in court papers.
Cecilia Nelms, Cassidy's ex-wife, told the Associated Press that the man was aggressive and would tell her he wanted to kill people at work.
"I never believed in him, and it never happened, until now," he said.
Nelms was in tears and shocked by the news, according to the AP, who said her ex-husband would return home angry about what was happening at work. "She's going crazy," he said, "she said. "He could have focused on things."
He told the AP that there were times when he was scared when Cassidy became angry and was a person who could physically hurt others.
Cassidy filed for divorce in 2005 after 10 years of marriage, according to the AP, and the two had not been in contact for 13 years. Nelms said he was being treated for depression.
The history of anger and violence against women is something experts say is not uncommon in the history of many shooters.
A recent analysis from Bloomberg News found that between 2014 and 2019, about 60 percent of the deaths of four or more people involved a perpetrator with a history of domestic violence or an act of domestic violence.