News Article: Communities Remember Loved Ones Lost in San Jose Shooting
This article was published to CBS News in 2021.
SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) - Family and friends are grieving the loss of their loved ones tragically killed in the San Jose mass shooting at a VTA rail yard. Some of the victims lived in San Joaquin County.
"He tried his best to let his family live the American dream," said Leonard Megia, father of Paul Megia, one of the nine victims in the shooting. He said his son was an amazing father, and his best friend.
"You can't say anything bad about him and I miss him," Megia said.
Paul Megia was a longtime VTA employee and wasn't supposed to be in the office that day, his father said.
"I was looking for him because we were going to have breakfast together," Megia said. "He was supposed to work at home."
As he got word of the shooting and learned multiple people were dead, he feared the worst for his son.
"I hope my son is not one of them," Megia said. "I called his phone, no answer."
It was a heart-wrenching outcome for the family when they found out Paul was one of the several victims. His family was gearing up for a vacation and graduation celebration in Disneyland in days.
"You couldn't find anybody better," his dad said, with tears in his eyes. "Now he's not going to be here."
For this family, the loss cuts deep. Many other families feel it, too. In Tracy, another neighborhood is in mourning.
Tracy resident, Jay Martin was horrified after learning his friend, Timothy Romo, was killed.
"It's just a shame, we're all in shock here," Martin said. "It just doesn't happen to nice people like that, but it does."
Another victim with a connection to the Sacramento region, Michael Rudometkin, whose parents live in the area. A family member sent CBS13 a statement in response to the loss of Michael:
"It is with heavy hearts that we lost our son to a ruthless disgruntled employee of VTA. Our son was attending a union meeting at the time this occurred. He was very passionate about his union affiliation. He had just turned 40 and still had more to live and accomplished. He has always been a wonderful son, brother, loving husband, uncle, cousin and friend to many. He would give his last penny and shirt off his back. Anyone could call him for help and he'd be there. He attended Cupertino schools, played in Tri Cities Little League, he was a Youth Minister and Pastoral Council member at Queen of Apostles Church in San Jose, CA. Michael graduated from Evergreen College Cum Laude and became one of the youngest Auto Master Technicians. Michael enjoyed spending time with his wife and working on projects at home. Family was very important to him. He enjoyed sports of all kinds, an avid golfer, attending SF Forty Niners, SJ Sharks, Golden State Warriors games, snowboarding, going to the casino, spending time at the Russian River and with dogs Sasha and Olive. He definitely loved living life to the fullest."
Many communities across the region are hoping for a change in culture.
"Hopefully something will come out of this," Martin said. "But it's not going to be good for the rest of the family."
Families, like those of these nine victims, are facing agony and anger. Leonard Megia is one of the many upset about gun violence in America.
"People who are sick don't deserve to have a gun," Megia said. "They don't need to have a gun. They got it and my son is no longer here."
These families are left now with only memories to cherish.