23:19 GMT12 June 2021
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    Earlier, law enforcement authorities in San Jose, California, confirmed that a shooting at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) facility claimed the lives of at least eight people, and left several others injured. The suspected shooter is deceased.

    US President Joe Biden addressed the deadly San Jose shooting on Wednesday and took the opportunity to urge congressional lawmakers to implement measures that would effectively combat the nation's growing gun violence.

    Biden noted in a White House-released statement that he would be ordering for the American flag to be lowered at half-staff, just as he had done after several recent shootings, including those that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado.

    "I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America," Biden said. "Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation."

    "We can, and we must, do more," he underscored.

    Biden order will see flags lowered half-staff at all US military posts, naval stations, embassies, legations and consular offices. The order will remain in effect until May 30.

    "We are still awaiting many of the details of this latest mass shooting, but there are some things we know for sure. There are a least eight families who will never be whole again," Biden highlighted. "There are children, parents, and spouses who are waiting to hear whether someone they love is ever going to come home."

    "There are union brothers and sisters - good, honest, hardworking people - who are mourning their own."

    Biden's calls echoed previous statements he made during his first joint address to Congress in April, when he told lawmakers it was "time" for officials "to act" and provide the American public with comprehensive gun legislation.

    The shooting in San Jose unfolded after 6 a.m. local time at the VTA control center and rail yard. Brandi Childress, the spokesperson for the VTA, has stated that the building is not open to the public, and that the shooter - identified as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy - either broke into the private area or gained entry after obtaining employee access. 

    Police secure the scene of a mass shooting at a rail yard run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, California, U.S. May 26, 2021.
    © REUTERS / PETER DASILVA
    Police secure the scene of a mass shooting at a rail yard run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, California, U.S. May 26, 2021.

    Reports indicate that an employee meeting was taking place when the shooting incident occurred. By the time local police arrived, the scene was still active. However, it's worth noting that preliminary findings suggest the shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as police did not discharge their department-issued firearms at the time.

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    Joe Biden, shooting, California, San Jose
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