tv NBC Bay Area News at 6 NBC May 27, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
♪♪ the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for being with us. we are anchoring our coverage on this emotional night at city hall in san jose. >> the community at this hour coming together in the wake of yesterday's tragic mass shooting at the vta rail yard. >> a live look at city hall plaza where a vigil is just getting off the ground. we are learning more about each of the lives lost, who they were, the families they leave behind. >> here are their photos on your screen. many had worked for vta for years, even decades. the youngest just 29, the oldest 63. >> we are learning more about the investigation into the shooting rampage, including what may have led the gunman to open fire on his colleagues.
the interaction he had with homeland security before the shooting. raj is leading our coverage. i know that hundreds of people are there. it's a somber evening. >> reporter: the vigils are never easy. there are thousands of people, more than 1,000 right now. this might swell in terms of the number. this starts in a few minutes. i'm standing right where all the flowers and photos are of the victims. you can see a lot of family members here, a lot of friends, union brothers here. a powerful moment a few minutes ago. all the union brothers gathering around, almost a group huddle that you would see a football field. this was their pep talk for lack of a better word. the union president who lived there the rail yard yesterday and survived all the gunshots.
he was not shot. he was giving this talk to his union members, essentially saying, we need help. do not internalize what you are going through. let's all talk to each other. real nice pep talk. after that, also a touching moment. a lot of flowers delivered. nine trees representing the nine victims here from that san jose vta rail yard shooting. we have a lot of coverage coming your way for 90 minutes. we want to be sensitive and respectful. we have a team of reporters covering the investigation but also the human and family part of this. we want to start with scott budman who joins us from the rail yard. >> reporter: good evening. we are talking about a couple of the victims. two men with families, more than 30 years experience working here at vta. each with a father who was close to tears while remembering his son.
>> i miss him. >> reporter: it's not easy for leonard to talk about his son paul, whose life ended yesterday at 42. leonard says paul, who worked at vta since 2002, was a great husband, a great dad to his three kids and his best friend. >> we do everything together. snowboarding, skiing, wakeboarding. >> reporter: jose remembers when he remembers his son. just 35 years old. he worked at vta since 2012. his father describes him as a man with many friends who always stayed close to family. >> what i'm going to miss the most is i know i'm not going to hear the sound of his motorcycle, his car when he was
stopping by. >> reporter: two men remembering two sons taken too soon by tragedy. >> not every place is perfect to work. you know, you never expect anything to develop into this. >> reporter: paul's father tells us paul planned to take his wife and three kids to disneyland this upcoming weekend. back to you. >> thank you. we are at city hall where the vigil is just about to begin. there are hundreds if not more than 1,000 people here. we mentioned paul megia, 42 years old. we spoke with one of his cousins. he said paul would do anything for his kids. he was the most loving person in the family. those are the stories we hear. it might bring a tear to your eye, but it brings a smile to your face. we celebrate and remember these
people. we will be back in a few minutes with interviews and a lot more information from the vigil. we will talk about some of the speakers that are about to take the stage. back to you. >> thank you so much. we will honor the victims. we are learning more about the investigation. new information coming out today about the worse mass shooting in bay area history. >> there were three semiautomatic handguns recovered at the scene. the sheriff says about 39 rounds were fired. some at point-blank range. the shooter was scheduled for a hearing on the day of the shooting. that's a hearing that's held when an employee faces the possibility of serious discipline or termination from work. the sheriff told us some of the officers who respond ready now among those struggling to process what they saw.
>> they are visibly shaken because of the nature of the scene that they saw when they walked in. they also know that that's what they were trained to do. there was never a hesitation. it's, we're going in. >> the fbi lost a lot of evidence when the shooter's home caught fire. they do believe the suspect intentionally started that fire. the fbi says among things damaged may be cellphones and hard drives that could have helped their investigation. >> the gunman was known to homeland security, being detained before. >> we have been working the sources. what we have learned about how the gunman carried out the killing and the possible warning signs, especially we are hearing he may have been up for disciplinary action on that very day. >> that's right. my sources tell me that the evidence collected so far showed that the gunman moved methodically, going from room to room, letting some people go while shooting others at close range.
firing more than three dozen times. work resumed in the vta maintenance yard as the investigation into the mass shooting there went on for a second day. more than a dozen special crime scene recreation experts from fbi headquarters in quantico, virginia, set up their mobile headquarters, hoisted the american flag and began documenting what sources describe as multiple, complex crime scenes. from the outside parking lot to several rooms in both building b and the main vta maintenance facility itself. their investigators recovered three nine millimeter handguns plus 32 separate high capacity magazines, all loaded with additional ammunition. according to sources, preliminary analysis shows that all the shots were fired from close range. "the wall street journal" reported that homeland security
officials flagged the gunman, samuel james cassidy, back in 2016 when he returned from a trip to the philippines. customs agents found several books about terrorism as well as a black memo book filled with notes about how he hated the vta. >> obviously, can't talk about anything related to current investigations. >> this man is director of the regional intelligence center in san francisco. he has not seen the dhs memo "the wall street journal" cited in its report and can't confirm its existence. he says that homeland security routinely prepares memos like this one on people who cause them concern. there's very little they can do unless that person actually breaks the law. >> we can only gather the data that is legally obtained and that fits the criteria. >> you don't distribute it. >> that's correct. we're not allowed to keep data. it has to be purged.
>> "the wall street journal's" article caught many officials off guard. none or few of them knew about the memo's existence. there has been a mad scramble to figure out what it means. one source told me the memo's contents did not rise to the level for surveillance or arrest. it's guardian status only. it's currently at that stage. we will stay on this. >> keep digging. we need more information to try to figure out exactly what would motivate someone to hurt so many people and so many families like this. today we did speak with a man who says one of the victims saved his life. >> he was in building b at the rail yard yesterday when his phone rang. it was his co-worker calling to tell him to get everyone out because there was a shooter in the other building.
minutes later, he was killed. >> it's tough. i would say he saved our lives. he gave us a call. i'm sure he was calling others. >> the call saved the lives of several employees. >> those people are now dealing with their own horror of having survived. up next, caring and generous. that's how friends are remembering the youngest victim. how his work was more than just a job for him. addressing the rise in hate crimes. nancy pelosi comes to san francisco to reveal how a new bill will help the asian-american community. the fog building into the coastline is kicking up our afternoon sea breeze. we will talk about the wind for tomorrow and the big heat on the way. i'm back with that in eight minutes.
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yesterday was a day of shock and fear. tonight is an evening of remembrance, sadness and mourning. more than 1,000 people have gathered at city hall to pay their respects and to remember the people killed, those nine innocent victims killed yesterday. >> nearly 20 people are expected to speak at the memorial service, this vigil that started about ten minutes ago. raj is at city hall where he is attending this vigil and continues our coverage. >> with are here with more than 1,000 people. if i lower my voice, you know
it's for the moment of silence. we are trying to maintain our level of respect. with us, councilman raul perales. you were hoping your good friend would make it through. my condolences. >> thank you. let's make this a day we recover. >> tell us about michael. tell me about what kind of man he was. >> yeah. i have known mike since seventh grade. almost 30 years now. he wasn't just a close friend of mine but my family, my parents, my sister. used to watch my nieces for my sister. they called him uncle mike. was that close to the family. someone that you could depend on. this is from his wedding. he got married just over ten years ago on halloween. same thing, childhood friend.
get together. we were together the three of us in the photo with him last night with his wife. it's extremely difficult. michael was somebody loved by so many people. he was a tremendous friend to everybody. was somebody in high school that -- it's an outpouring of support from people we grew up with. i don't know somebody that didn't like mike. he was just that kind of human being. >> class of 2000. remember the last conversation you had with mike? >> we were trying to plan a golf trip. just a couple weeks ago, we were looking for a tee time on a sunday. couldn't get one open. we were talking about, let's plan it for another couple weeks out. that was it. >> i know you are grieving. his wife and parents, how are they doing?
it's extremely difficult on them. >> it's disbelief right now. it's difficult to accept something like this. we know we will go at some point. >> that's you and mike if high school? >> that's junior year football. we played four years together. that's him with my knees visiting my parents. he was close with the family. went golfing with my dad. him and his wife would go to dinner with my parents. he was great to them. a tremendous loss for all of his friends and especially his family. >> mike and his wife did not have kids but they had dogs. you were telling me something a few minutes ago. >> sasha is waiting for him. we were talking to his wife. she paces until he gets home after work. just like the rest of us, waiting for him to come home. it's not going to happen. >> we will remember how
michael -- we will remember him fondly. appreciate your time. raul will take the stage when this memorial starts. it's starting. he will let you go. >> he was the youngest person to die in yesterday's violent rampage in san jose. a co-worker shot and killed 29-year-old adrian at a job that his friend and neighbor says he loved. >> he was so happy to work for the county. he was happy to drive the bus. he was so happy that he got a new schedule. he started 4:00 in the morning to spend time with his family. >> she's known adrian and his family almost two years since the young father moved into the neighborhood with his wife and baby boy. >> we had a wonderful relationship. as soon as he moved into the neighborhood, he came over,
introduced himself. brought his wife, his baby. >> his wife and family members arrived home shortly after our interview. we could hear the young woman crying as she walked into the house. the family politely declined our request for an interview. a loved one did say adrian was the most compassionate friend or relative that you would want to have. it's how his neighbor describes him. >> two weeks ago, he had a party for his niece. he invited me over. he knew i wasn't feeling well. he brought me macaroni salad, hamburger. he said, my wife, she makes the best cheesecake. would you like a piece? he came back and forth five times. >> while investigators figure out the motive for the attack on his colleagues, friends say, they cannot imagine why anyone would want to hurd adrian. >> i'm devastated. so young. gone so young.
>> amazing memories there. we are back live. you can hear applause as a sing are took center stage. now it's the mayor. let's listen in. >> good evening. i know it's difficult for many of us. thank you for your patience. we will do our best to make sure that everyone is heard. thank you all for that moment
just a few seconds ago when you came to the aid of angela with a microphone. it was a beautiful symbol for our community. stepped up for each other. the song was more beautiful when everyone joined in together. thank you. [ applause ] it's my honor to serve you as the mayor of the city of san jose. i would like to read the names of our lost friends, colleagues and family members. i would like to ask our faith leaders to come up to the stage to light candles in their honor. then i would ask for a moment of silence.
>> pull the mike down. thank you. there you go. >> can you hear me clear out there? all right. we have been thinking so fast into this everlasting current, circling memories of our past and look to see how long this will last. we have a generation yet to learn patience, yet to know love. lives are being struck. tenacity is needed. persistence. perseveance with determination. this is an achievement. can anybody hear me? our world is an impeachment. humi. k questio aedialogue. mility. would rather be open and vulnerable. humility, believe, what the gospel says about our need.
crisis and mediator, full of hospitality. the one who knew you and knew me, this is what i call our reality. so i say again, we are in a need of humility. until i understand humility and then love speaks, i will forever be in this here reality. my condolences to the ones that have lost loved ones and friends. may this night be the end of us coming together. soon this will be the beginning. hope. [ applause ] >> thank you, latoya. i will do my best and yell as loud as i can. we are going to try to get through this together.
thank you all for being here in this moment. we have been apart for more than a year. through a year of pan democrat -- pandemic and isolation and tragedy. together we are here together as one community. we are here because members of our community are calling, our family members, our loved ones are suffering. each of us feels our own pain as well. we are here to share our pain. we are here to share our love, to share our support for each other in a difficult days ahead. healing for many will be a long, difficult path. we are here to express our commitment to one another to walk with our friends and family
on that long road to healing. we are here to express a singular message in our community. we will heal and we will heal together. i'm joined by co-workers of our fallen heroes, faith leaders, community leaders and most importantly all of you. i know that all of my colleagues here from the city of san jose are here. i would like to acknowledge them, if i can. they are standing behind me. of course, you may not be able
to see all of them. i know matt had to be here. he had a loss in his own family and could not be here. we are here together. to express our unity with you. the president has declared a day of mourning. vice president kamala harris called me yesterday to offer words of strength and encouragement to share with the community. she called, most importantly, to remind me that an entire nation grieves with us. here in san jose and santa clara county, we grieve together. most importantly, we will hear together. thank you again for being here with us. [ applause ] it's my pleasure now --
[ applause ] it's my pleasure to introduce a tremendous leader, head of the directors of the valley transportation authority, glen hendricks. >> i'm going to see if we can -- if everyone can hear me. i want to thank everyone for being here. [ applause ] after a terrible tragedy of yesterday, it is so inspiring to
see so many people out here to show your love and respect for the vta family. i just really want to thank you. if you see a bus driver or you see someone with a vta vest on, wave and smile to them. the power of the smile is awesome. [ applause ] the second thing i would like to do is i'd like to share something with you. in my family, we started out of tradition, but something we do that we write haiku. so as i went home last night after the day, and i needed to deal with my own thoughts and
emotions, i wrote something. i want to share it with you. our friends will be missed. serving riders makes us smile. nine will inspire us. thank you all for being here this afternoon. >> thank you. thank you, glen. i'm grateful that john courtney is a courageous leader of the transit union representing the women and men. [ applause ] thank you, john for being here and for your leadership. >> good evening, everyone. >> we love you, john! >> i love you guys and gals.
that's what it's all about. be there, hold each other, love each other, hug each other, kiss each other when you get home from the end of the day. we're all we've got, we're all we know please, whatever you need do to get some support. i know i need it myself. these aren't names to us. these are people we love and we've seen every singy day of our working lives. it really hurts down to the core of our souls. so please let's do what we do and stand with each other, for each other, by each other. please, please, just love each other. thank you. [ applause ] i'd like to introduce the rock of atu. atu international president john costa. [ applause ]
thank you, john. >> thank you, everybody for being here. atu. 265. on behalf of our 200,000 members in the united states and canada, our condolences go out to the families for your loss. 265, your brothers, my brothers. we give you our condolences. i also want to recognize the labor movement. yesterday all the unions, the afl-cio, they all have expressed their condolences and help. i want to recognize the firefighters, law enforcement that were on the ground to stop this. the firefighters were on the ground, giving our members
support. but most of all, i want to send a message that we have to honor our brothers today and not forget what happened here, and not let this happen again. we can't sweep this under the rug. we need to treat this as if it was a drug and alcohol eta problem. we need to do the right thing now and move this in and talk about this and recognize this mental illness. we need today to move forward for changing this and to stop this. we can do better. i am so sorry and 265, we're here. i'll be here all week. we'll be talking. thank you. [ applause ]
in the mass shooting. people from the community have come forward to -- departed souls. we from this community are praying that all departed souls rest in peace and we go together with them to the families who have lost their loved ones. we would also pray to god please help people who are losing their mental balance and do not understand what they are doing. there are many lives who are innocent who love them. and the most importantly, who are dependent on them.
today. first representing congresswoman. thank you so much, congresswoman. >> my heart is very heavy and with the victims' families. we come together to mend. now joined hundreds of other families -- and the vta will be forever etched in our memory. the vta literally connects our community. it connects us from yesterday. that connection was shaken to its core. but today begins our love and our support to the grieving families. and while we are heartbroken and
shake -- we need to recommit actions to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country. [ applause ] america where there are more guns than there are people. america, where you are 25 times more likely to be murdered than somewhere in another developed country. america where on average 300 people are shot every single day. america, where as of today more than 17,500 people have been shot by a gun and joined yesterday by nine innocent people, our colleagues, our relatives, our coworkers, our
neighbors, our fellow americans. tonight we're united in our commitment to our diverse communities where we prioritize togetherness over division, hope over fear, progress over violence. while tonight we cherish the memory of those lost and give comfort to families left to grieve, we have to say enough. you don't have to be the only country on earth where mass shootings are a near daily occurrence. we owe change to those that we grieve for this evening. let's do it together. [ applause ] >> thank you. congresswoman lofgren. we are also joined by -- we're
also joined by wonderful leader representing congresswoman. >> first i want to thank the mayor for bringing all of us together. bravo, sam. bravo, sam. we need to be together. everyone's heart is broken. while we grieve, we're frustrated. we're angry. we can't sleep thinking about the families whose loved ones didn't come home from work. i'm here to pay tribute to all of you. like so many others, i have watched and i have listened.
and the entire country has watched the people of san jose, california and our region, and i think that they are in awe of all of you. for the police that went in, for the firemen that were there, for the mental health workers, for the brothers and sisters of the vta family, of the government, of the private sector, of those stepped up with their contributions to the families. you have showcased your godness to america. i want you to know how proud i am to represent a community that is full of love and decency, and knowing that we are resilient people, we are resilient people. we will help the families thh this wel everything that ca and ts city and its
people and its workers will continue to show the way for the best in america. god bless all of you. thank you. [ applause ] >> loved ones we've lost represent the diversity of our community. and came from many different places as well. i'm honored to have our bishop from the catholic diocese of san jose, bishop oscar cantu here as well. [ applause ] >> thank you so much, mr. mayor, for the invitation to be here.
two years ago when gilroy happened, i mourned and i cried. yesterday i mourned and i cried. and we all have. the phrase that kept coming to me two years ago and comes back to me now is that we are brothers and sisters to one another. we are each other's keepers. i don't care what color we are on the outside. we all cry tears that are salty. and we all bleed red. we are members of the same human family. no matter how we worship or if
we don't worship. we've got human dignity. and we need to respect and reach out to one another. that beautiful phrase that the congresswoman shared with us, connection. that's what the vta does for us. it helps us to connect. but we need to connect on a human level, on a level of compassion, on a level of care, on a level of love. i don't write haikus, but there was someone in our tradition who wrote beautiful, beautiful poetry, poetry that is prayer. and i share this one with you. the lord is my shepherd. there is nothing i shall lack. in green pastures he makes me lie down to still waters he
leads me. he restores my soul. he guides me along right paths for the sake of his name. even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil for you are with me. your rod and your staff comfort me. you set a table before me in front of my enemies. you anoint my head with oil. my cup overflows. indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue all the days of my life. i will dwell in the house of the lord for endless days. our prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones. god bless you. [ applause ]
>> we're also joined by dr. use sufficient al shahabi. dr. yusuf, thank you for being here and sharing your thoughts. >> the message of peace, peace be upon all of you. from god, the peace who carries the name of the peace. i carry a message to you from the muslim community. and before i give you the message of the muslim community, i would like to message that god give to mankind in his final book the koran, where he tells us -- [ speaking foreign language ]
this is the open of the koran that rises the love of our creator to his creation. the love of allah that he has created equal. as he tells us in the koran that we have created you from a male and a female. and we have made you equals, the best among you are those closest to your lord. and that's what we need to do to have the redemptions to ourselves. allah in the koran tells us about the sanctity of life. where he tells us that if you save a single human life, it's as if you have saved humanity as a whole. and if you take a single human life, it's as if you have taken the life of humanity as a hole.
our dear prophet muhammad, peace be upon him, was sitting down when a funeral passed by. and he rose and he told everybody around him to rise because it's the life that was lost. and today we are faced by so many lives that were lost. and we are here to mourn. i would like to carry to you the condolences of the muslim community as we all come together to remember those beautiful lives that were taken for no good reason. there isn't a good reason to take an innocent human life. and as we know, that god has told us this through his prophet muhammad and through his previous prophets before that, jesus be upon him. moses, peace be month him. abraham, peace be upon him. and especially mary, the mother of jesus that god chose to be the best woman that he had ever created. we all come together to remember
the sanctity of the human life. we have our hearts aching for the families. we have that feeling of loss for each and every one of you. your loss is our loss. your families are our families. why? because we all come from adam and eve. we are all a single family. our condolences goes to you. our hearts are aching for you. and we ask god toe the ence, thepatience, the patience that can help you go through these hard times. peace be upon you. [ applause ] >> the county responded in an incredible way to this horrible
behavioral health workers helping assist families over at the red cross center. of course the county sheriff ran in immediately. to halt the violence. and we're grateful that our county partners are here represented by supervisor cindy chavez, who represents this area on the santa clara city council and is also a board member of the valley transportation authority. >> i want to ask susan ellenburg and otto leeb to come forward with me. so i know and i can see it in the faces of so many of you how heartbreaking this is, what a painful night this is for all of us, but particularly for the families and friends who lost a loved one yesterday. it's so easy to feel hopeless, but i don't feel hopeless, do
you? >> no. no. >> i don't feel hopeless. you know why i peel so much hope? look at this family out here. look at san jose showing up. look at santa clara county showing up. look at vta showing up. and one thing that i can't forget is we just we're coming out of covid, we saw buses and light rail and mechanics and making sure that vta kept moving. and even tonight, if you look behind you on that street, you see buses moving and connecting people. to push back on violence, to push back on hate, and to help each other heal. thank you and remember, we've got to show up not just tonight for each other but every day and
every night. thank you. [ applause ] another thing i want to add. many of you ask how can we help. the one thing we know is people aren't going heal overnight. a fund called actionnetwork.org. if you want to contribute to the families, you can do there. or let's help each other. let's not leave each other stranded, because vta does not leave people stranded. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, supervisor cindy chavez. and i wanted to offer for those who wanted to donate, if you couldn't remember all that, i know we do have signs up with a
qr code that will enable you to donate quickly and easily here in the city hall plaza. i want to thank so many who have already stepped up to help families. i got off the phone a couple of hours ago with chris larson, who grew up here in san jose. and he and his wife lena contributed $100,000 to help our families who grieving. thank you, chris. representing our downtown district and also on the vta board is councilmember raul perales. and councilmember perales, like so many, has lost a good friend yesterday as well. thank you, councilmember perales to come forward to share your pain.
>> thank you. this has been tremendously difficult to represent this community and to also be feeling the pain that so many families, friends, loved ones are feeling today. my heart goes out to all of you. i see so many vta employees out here with us today. and i know how tremendously difficult it is for you. can we give a round of applause to all of our vta employees today. [ applause ]
john courtney, you said it better than any politician could say. absolutely spot on. when i found out about the news of an active shooter at 7:00 a.m. yesterday, i immediately thought about my friend. i sent him a text message that has not been returned and will never be returned. i reached out to him and john courtney immediately after that. what i didn't know is that john was standing right there barely escaping death, watching my friend get murdered. thank you. thank you, john for saying it best. we need to offer the help and assistance and embrace our struggling peers, coworker, family member, loved ones.
we need to open that up, ladies and gentlemen, and bring them in to help before this happens again. [ applause ] tragedy and violence like this doesn't get solved with more violence. it gets solved with love. and what i see here today, thank you. thank you to the san jose community. thank you to santa clara county community for being here and showing your love with us. thank you. [ applause ] >> we're all so pleased to have a wonderful friend of our community for representing temple emanuel, rabbi danny.
welcome, rabbi daniel. >> wow. wow. in the jewish tradition, we believe that each life is worth the world. dear ones, we have lost nine worlds. and i don't know about you, but i'm done. i am so done with the lack of sensible gun laws. i am so done, i am so done with how insensitive we are to mental illness, and we have lost another nine people. this goes on and on and aren't we done? enough is enough. enough is enough! it is my honor to offer thi