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ATU Marks the Year Anniversary of the Tragic Shooting of Local 265-San Jose, CA, Brothers

"Today marks the sad anniversary of the tragic shooting that took the lives of our Local 265-San Jose, CA, brothers on May 26, 2021, at 6:33 a.m.," said International President John Costa, in remembering the dark day in our Union’s history. "You will always be remembered for your service and your sacrifice to the Amalgamated Transit Union.”

The day began with an emotional candlelight vigil held at the VTA Guadalupe Division at 6:33am PT, the exact time of the shooting a year ago, for the victims’ family members, Local 265 members, and VTA employees. Local 265 President John Courtney delivered a heartfelt speech at the event. In addition, a special tribute - an eternal flame - built by our members was unveiled to honor our fallen brothers.

An event was also held at the VTA Resiliency Center where attendees heard from Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Cindy Chavez and Susan Ellenberg, Vice Mayor of San Jose Chappie Jones, as well as powerful and heartbreaking statements by John Courtney and Karrey Benbow, who lost her son Jose Hernandez III a year ago today. “I would have given anything to take those bullets for him.”

Later in the day, the Local hosted a gathering for members and their families to honor and remember our fallen brothers. At the event, International Vice President Jim Lindsay presented Local 265 with a memorial plaque on behalf of International President John Costa in memory of our brothers whose lives were cut way too short by the tragic events, including Brother Henry Gonzales, who was stricken with grief, took his own life.