The victims were employees of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), VTA board chairman Glenn Hendricks said at a press conference Thursday.
“Many of you have reported the names of employees who have been lost,” he said. “For us here at VTA, they are friends and family and we want to honor their memory. “
— Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63, worked with VTA for about 20 years as a substation maintainer.
— Alex Ward Fritch, 49, was a substation maintainer.
— José Dejesus Hernandez III, 35, started in 2012 as a public transport mechanic, then became an electromechanic and then a substation maintainer.
— Lars Kepler Lane, 63, started in 2001 as an electrical mechanic and became an airline worker.
— Michel Joseph Rudometkin, 40, started in 2013 as an ATV mechanic, then worked as an electromechanic and then as an overhead line fitter.
— Paul Delacruz Megia, 42, started in 2002 as a trainee bus operator, has grown into a light rail operator, transportation supervisor, transit division supervisor and finally an assistant superintendent in service management.
— Taptejdeep Singh, 36, started in 2014 as a trainee bus operator, then moved on to a light rail operator.
— Timothy Michael Romo, 49, served for over 20 years as an airline worker.
The victim spent his last moments protecting others
Singh was a member of the Sikh community, according to a statement from his family.
“We are more than devastated by the loss of Taptejdeep, a beloved father, husband, brother, son and nephew,” his brother, Karman Singh, said in a statement. “She was a wonderful person who was committed to serving others at work and in her spare time. “
The brother went on to say that they had discovered through eyewitnesses that Singh had spent his final moments trying to protect others.
“From what we heard, he reacted quickly to get his colleagues into secure offices and frantically called other people who should have come for a shift change to warn them of the shooter,” the statement said.
“We understand that he was trying to secure his building when he was killed,” he added.
Taptejdeep Singh was born in Punjab, India, and moved to California with his parents about 17 years ago, according to a family statement.
He is survived by his wife, 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter, the family said.
A beloved friend
San Jose council member Raul Peralez remembered his friend Rudometkin and said he spent time with the family.
“Sadly, I am personally learning how these nine families felt last night, this morning with just a sense of disbelief, with the hope that your loved one will come home again,” Peralez said.
“And know that this will never happen again,” he added.
The past day, Peralez said, has been “laborious and heartbreaking.”
Superintendent remembers the victims
Naunihal Singh, the superintendent of the tram yard, said he supervised many victims and shared an office with Megia. His direct reports were Singh and Balleza.
“I am that hapless leader who lost my VTA family members,” he said. “Words are not enough to justify the pain we all go through. ”
He said Megia always accepts all requests with a smile and is “always ready to help her employees.”
Balleza, he said, was “very kindhearted”.
The victims tried to save the others “while going through this chaotic situation,” added the superintendent.
Hendricks, the chairman of the board of directors of VTA, said he had spoken to the families of the nine victims, adding that “all families are suffering, but we are here to help”.
“We want all of our employees to know that we are all grieving together and we want to do whatever we can to support each other. If today or in the days to come you need to stop, talk to a coworker, take a moment of calm, Whatever your emotions, pain, grief, anger, love, questions, everything this is normal, ”he added.
CNN’s Harmeet Kaur and Stella Chan contributed to this report.