SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Hundreds gathered Thursday evening outside San Jose City Hall to mourn alongside the families of the nine VTA employees who died in a mass shooting on Wednesday.
“My dad was a selfless man, as a veteran, I know my dad wouldn’t have run away from the danger,” said Timothy Romo’s son Tristan Romo.READ MORE: UPDATE: Coroner Identifies Man Killed in Juneteenth Mass Shooting at Oakland's Lake Merritt
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The vigil organized by city leaders was held the day after a reportedly disgruntled VTA employee opened fire on his co-workers during an early-morning union meeting at the light rail yard in downtown San Jose.
Ten people died, including the gunman, identified as Samuel Cassidy, who shot himself before sheriff’s deputies could get to him.
Among stories recounted by the victims’ relatives were some acts of heroism that have been reported by survivors of the massacre.
Co-workers have told the family of Taptejdeep Singh that he saved many of their lives.
“When he heard the shots, when he saw everybody’s life in danger, his first reaction was to tell other people,” said Singh’s younger brother Karmen Singh. “He was calling his coworkers, telling them to hide under benches, figuring out what to do, how he could help.”
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Singh, a father of two and husband, was ultimately shot and killed.READ MORE: Animal Rights Group Sues Park Service Over Dying Elk At Point Reyes National Seashore
Paul Megia, an assistant superintendent at the VTA, also died after he reportedly saved a co-worker’s life by telling her to hide in his office.
“Tomorrow he was supposed to go to Disneyland,” his father Leonard Megia said. “That day, yesterday, he wasn’t even supposed to go to work. He was supposed to work at home and I was going to have breakfast with him.”
Stories of bravery and selflessness in the face of danger were numerous. Some family members said the victims loved going to work every day and that the VTA was like family.
A memorial of flowers and signs grew in size outside city hall Thursday and candles burned into the night.
Alejandra Rojas attended the vigil and placed a picture of her friend and shooting victim Adrian Balleza at one of the memorials. She said Balleza had got married only two years ago and had a toddler.
“He’s a great person, always smiling,” Rojas said.
“Never leave home without giving your loved one a kiss goodbye because that was the last I got,” Romo’s wife Annette Romo said.MORE NEWS: Mayor Breed Vetoes Bill Providing Free Muni Service, Citing Cost Concerns
“God took my best friend and husband too soon and I’m wishing I could give him one last hug and tell him how much ‘I love you, I love you always,'” said Paul Megia’s wife Nicole Megia.