SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A deadly Wednesday evening shooting of an armed man on a VTA light rail train platform by a contracted security guard is under investigation by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.
It happened on a still-busy VTA platform at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday night. Sheriff’s patrol units were called to the Santa Teresa light rail station on reports of a man threatening passengers with knives.READ MORE: Fremont Police Surround Home Following Shooting; 1 Injured
Investigators said a private security guard hired by VTA from Allied Universal confronted the suspect.
“The security officer did give verbal commands to drop the knives or drop the weapons, which the suspect refused. That suspect then quickly advanced towards the security guard holding the knives and weapons,” said Sgt. Michael Low. “He got to within five to ten feet of that security officer, at which time the shots were fired.”
The suspect was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators recovered two knives, a pair of scissors and a cord the suspect which the suspect
was allegedly brandishing.
VTA says there was minimal disruption to the system because the incident happened at the end of the line.READ MORE: Experts: 17 Million People Cut From Biden COVID Stimulus Deal
Some passengers were still just learning of the shooting on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s unfortunate, that someone has to lose their life because they can’t behave on the public transit system. But VTA has a job to make sure that public safety is there,” said train rider James Norton.
VTA has contracted with Allied Universal since 2014, which provides armed security during late night and early morning hours.
There has been a recent escalation of violent incidents on VTA trains and buses including batteries and assaults. There were 5 violent incidents in June, 7 in July, 10 in August and 10 in September.
There have been total of 61 violent incidents so far this year according to the VTA. One daily rider says she’s been through some incidents on-board the transit system that scare her.
“I don’t feel safe,” said Olga Garza. “I ride everyday buses and light rail but I don’t feel safe, because I hardly see any security guards here.”MORE NEWS: Man Found Shot Dead In East Oakland
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (408) 808-4500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 808-4431.