By Vatican News staff writer
Tragedy struck on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a San Jose Valley Transportation Authority rail yard in California, killing several people before killing himself.
The gunman, identified as an employee at the transit rail yard, shot and killed nine of his colleagues, many of them longtime employees of the transit agency. He also died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Following news of the deadly shooting, Bishop Oscar Cantú of San Jose diocese issued a statement calling for prayers, comfort and healing for the victims of the shooting, and for their families and loved ones.
“May shock and grief give way to grace and resolve, as we work together to protect the innocent and prevent such senseless acts in the future, so that peace may prevail in our hearts and communities,” Bishop Cantú said.
Archbishop Paul Coakley, chairman of the US Bishops’ Conference Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development also issued a statement following Wednesday’s tragic shooting.
“This shooting reminds us once again that something fundamentally broken in our society and culture must be courageously examined and addressed, so that ordinary places no longer become scenes of violence and contempt for human life,” he said.
“We must understand why these horrific occurrences of violence continue to take place in our communities, and then unhesitatingly act to root out the causes of such crimes.”
Archbishop Coakley pointed to the USCCB’s continuous appeals for “rational yet effective forms of regulation of these dangerous weapons,” stressing that “action is needed to attempt to reduce the frequency of these abhorrent acts through legislation and training.”
He also reiterated the Bishops’ calls for increased mental health outreach and services to identify and treat potential areas of conflict before they become tragic occurrences.
The Archbishop then invited Catholics around the country to pray for the dead and for healing for the injured and the community; and invoked the Holy Spirit, “whose wisdom and guidance we celebrated this past Sunday at Pentecost” to bring “consolation and strength at this time of great loss.”