San Jose shooting: Widow of slain VTA employee describes moment her husband died in her arms

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Thursday, May 27, 2021
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The widow of the ninth victim of the deadly mass shooting at a VTA railyard in San Jose described how her husband of 20 years died in her arms Wednesday.

The widow of the ninth victim of the deadly mass shooting at a VTA railyard in San Jose described how her husband of 20 years died in her arms Wednesday.

Authorities say Samuel Cassidy was prepared to kill dozens, armed with two semi-automatic hand guns and nearly a dozen ammo clips as he fired 39 shots and appeared to target some of the victims. Cassidy later shot himself as deputies closed in at a light rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority.

Alex Ward Fritch, 49, was the ninth casualty of the shooting.

Fritch's wife, Tera, was there as he died at a local hospital late Wednesday.

"Alex was really fighting hard. He didn't wanna go anywhere, and I didn't want him to go," she said. "The nurse was so sweet and wonderful and moved him over in his bed so I could lay down next to him and be with him."

Sheriff: Sam Cassidy, gunman who killed 9 in San Jose railyard shooting, appeared to target victims

Tera fought back tears while describing her last moments with her husband.

"He just somehow knew I was there because his hand had been twitchy. But it grabbed my hand, and the nurse came in because he was deteriorating and she said, 'He knows you're here,'" she said. "He's crying and he took his last breath. That is where it stopped right then and there."

Investigators offered no immediate word on a possible motive, but the suspect's ex-wife said he used to come home from work resentful and angry over what he perceived as unfair assignments.

"He could dwell on things," she said. The two were married for about 10 years until a 2005 divorce filing, and she hadn't been in touch with Cassidy for about 13 years, Cecilia Nelms said.

It was the 15th mass killing in the U.S. this year, all shootings that claimed at least four lives each for a total of 87 deaths, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.

Suspected San Jose shooter's ex-girlfriend says he was 'mentally not stable'

The Associated Press contributed to this report.