San Jose community mourns after mass shooting in candlelight vigil
May 31, 2021
Hundreds gathered at San Jose City Hall to mourn the lives of the nine victims killed in Wednesday’s mass shooting at a San Jose VTA rail yard on Thursday.
Members of the community broke out in cries and hugs throughout the speeches by family members of the victims, San Jose city council members, religious leaders and others from the “VTA family.”
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo started the vigil by reading the name of each victim and honoring them with a moment of silence.
“We are here together as one community,” Liccardo said. “We are here to share our pain, share our love, share our support for each other in the difficult days ahead.”
At the end of the vigil, family members of some of the victims spoke to the crowd.
Scott Romo, son of the victim Timothy Romo, huddled alongside his siblings and mother.
“Tim Romo was my dad, but he was also much more than that to me: my hero, my idol, my everything,” Romo said. “He was my superman and I’ll never not miss him.”
Karman Singh, brother of victim Taptejdeep Singh, gathered with about a dozen other people on the podium and spoke teary-eyed about his brother’s “lion’s heart.”
A colleague called Taptejdeep Singh a “hero,” since Singh died when he left his office to warn others during the shooting, according to co-workers from the scene.
Observers listened from the plaza, some wearing shirts commemorating the victims and many holding up poster boards that read phrases like “Stop Gun Violence,” “Bless our VTA Family” and “Who Is Next?”
Flowers and candles filled up the altar as people trickled in and paid their respects throughout the evening.
Jean Cohen, executive officer of the South Bay Labor Council, emphasized healing and destigmatizing discussions about mental health in her speech.
“As the days pass, we must focus our attention on what was broken, to come back stronger than ever before,” Cohen said. “We cannot bring loved ones back to their families and to the community, but we can heal and we will do that together.”
San Jose’s mass shooting extended a streak of nationwide gun violence, becoming the 232nd shooting this year where at least four people were shot.
Donations can be made to support victims and their families here.