THE gunman accused of killing eight people at a San Jose rail yard before turning the gun on himself allegedly raped his ex-girlfriend and was prone to booze-induced rages.

Samuel Cassidy, 57, has been identified by law enforcement officials as the gunman who at around 6:30am on Wednesday stormed into the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) maintenance yard during a union meeting in San Jose and felled eight coworkers and wounded several others.

A fire at the late Cassidy’s home, some 10 miles away, is believed to have been set by him before he allegedly went on a rampage.

The man was described by two women in his life as being riddled with a dark side.

In 2009, an ex-girlfriend filed a restraining order against the 57-year-old man following a domestic violence incident, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The publication cited court documents related to the domestic relationship with a 45-year-old woman suggesting the man suffered from bipolar disported and imbibed copious amounts of alcohol.

In a sworn declaration the 5-foot-4, 120-pound woman claimed several times she had fought off the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Cassidy from aggressive sexual behaviors, the Chronicle reported.

The physical and mental abuse the woman claims she endured in the court papers cited by the Chronicle depicts a sadistic persona.

“He also played several mind games which he seems to enjoy,” she said, according to the court documents cited in the article.

The woman claimed in September of 2008 Cassidy allegedly forced himself on her after tossing her on a bed, according to the newspaper.

“Several times during the relationship he became intoxicated, enraged and forced himself on me sexually,” the woman wrote in a sworn declaration. 

On occasions where she refused him, he “restrained me by holding my arms to my side and forcing his weight on top of me.”

The incident followed another where Cassidy allegedly tried to force the woman to engage in anal intercourse.

The man appeared to show contrition after the episodes and swore to abstain from such demands.

He apparently was so fixed on this kind of sex that he threatened to break up with her on Valentine’s Day if she didn’t acquiesce, the Chronicle reported.

In February 2009, the woman said that Cassidy had shared his home with another woman.

Cassidy allegedly would throw a temper whenever she asked about the new woman or their relationship status.

The publication also reports that the woman’s court papers suggest Cassidy had admitted he stole tools and equipment from his current and past employers.

Cassidy’s ex-wife Cecilia Nelms remembered the man as being extremely moody.

“He had two sides,” Nelms, 64, told the Canon City Daily Record.  “When he was in a good mood he was a great guy. When he was mad, he was mad."

The couple divorced in 2005 and she hasn't had any contact with him for a decade, according to the paper.

Cassidy had been working as a mechanic for a San Jose car dealer during the first two years of their matrimony before he took a job at the VTA.

The paper found that Cassidy had acquired a license to perform smog check inspections in 2003 and used to work at a San Jose Mazda dealership.

Early on during his employment at the rail yard, Cassidy showed signs of angst while working at the VTA.

“He just thought that some people got more easy-going things at work, and he’d get the harder jobs,” the ex-wife told the Daily Record.

As of 2019, Cassidy was a substation maintainer and mechanic, according to the public database Transparent California.

Santa Clara County Sgt. Russell Davis confirmed on Wednesday that the nine people who died in the rampage all are believed to be VTA employees.

The company reportedly has 2,100 employees, however, it is unclear how many people were on-site at the time.

One of the victims died while being transported to the hospital. 
Another victim remains in hospital in critical condition.

Cassidy and the responding officers did not exchange gunfire.

And officials claimed that the man turned his gun on himself "when he realized deputies were in the building.”

All eight victims were all shot inside two different buildings at the train yard, officials said.

The deadly incident is believed to have while workers were conducting a union meeting, KTVU reported.

The building was also being searched “room-by-room” by bomb squads using sniffer dogs because there is suspicion that Cassidy planted multiple explosive devices at the VTA station.

"Bomb-making materials" were discovered at the home of a VTA employee, authorities told KPIX5.

Cassidy’s home, which had been set ablaze allegedly by Cassidy himself, also had several weapons and “hundreds of rounds of ammunition” inside it, according to law enforcement sources who spoke to the LA Times.

A spokesperson for the San Jose Fire Department confirmed there are "multiple scenes" connected to the shooting, though declined to elaborate further.

Local media have reported that Cassidy's name is on the deed of the home being investigated by authorities.


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