Local therapists say stress and isolation from pandemic may have fueled Wednesday’s shooting


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – One day after Samuel Cassidy shot and killed nine of his colleagues at the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, Operations Manager George Sandoval promised to take care of his employees who survived.

“Reach out to them, and try and make coming back to work as easy for them as possible. I see all the efforts being made for the victims’ families and I’m very thankful that that’s occurring,” Sandoval said.

Reports say Cassidy hated work years before Wednesday’s shooting and for years told his ex-wife he had plans to shoot certain people at work.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has yet to determine a motive for the shooting.

As the community continues to mourn, Sacramento-area therapist Isaac Smith with Whole Wellness Therapy says the stress and isolation from the pandemic could have fueled Cassidy’s plan.

“The type of stress can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, if you will, if you lack a lot of coping skills and tools,” Smith said.

“In my mind, yes, there is a correlation because now it’s going to be more than ever that you see violence with people trying to get their needs met,” agreed therapist Kyrra Christian.

Both therapists say the best way to try to stop tragedies like this from happening is to create a supportive work environment.

“The higher-ups, let the people that are really doing the work decide what is going to help them continue to do the work in a way that’s not damaging to them,” Christian said.

Other tips include training employees to recognize the warning signs and offer communication and empathy training.

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