Widow of San Jose Rail Yard Shooting Victim Says VTA Not Giving Enough Support
Saturday will mark one month since the tragic mass shooting at the main VTA rail yard in San Jose.
The moment will be marked by remembrances, tributes and gatherings. But a widow of one victims said the VTA and workers’ union are remembering victims, but not necessarily the victims’ families.
Terra Fritch, the widow of Alex Fritch, first posted her complaints in an online post for friends, but now wants it more public because she said the families are grieving and need more support.
“My husband was a government worker on government property and was not protected,” Terra Fritch said.
The words of Terra Fritch are blunt, coming from a place of grief and anger. Her husband was one of nine VTA workers killed in the May 26 mass shooting at the San Jose rail yard.
Terra Fritch is furious about the actions of the VTA, the Transit Workers Union, and various government officials in the days since the shooting.
In an online post, she told friends “I truly don’t understand how people can be so heartless and cold to people who worked for you and died in your watch.”
“People believe that our families, the nine of who no longer have our husbands with us, are being cared for,” Terra Fritch said. “And that’s just actually not true. It really is not.”
Terra Fritch said she keeps getting different answers from the VTA and that the union is ignoring her when it comes to trying to get benefits or promised financial help for her husband’s funeral.
“Now the union is not returning our calls and is treating us as if we’re the enemy now,” she said. “And it’s like here we are, we don’t have anyone in our corner. We have no one in our corner.”
Terra Fritch ended her online post with “my husband did not quit his job!! So stop acting like he did.”
“We are being treated like our husbands quit their jobs, and it’s beyond frustrating,” Terra Fritch said.
Terra Fritch did make contact with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. The Mayor’s Office confirms she reached out and Liccardo is trying to help get all the sides together.
VTA provided the following statement on Wednesday:
“We want Mrs. Fritch to know that we hear her and are doing everything we possibly can to see her through this extremely difficult situation. VTA has been in contact with Mrs. Fritch on several occasions in an attempt to help her navigate a complex set of resources and benefits. Much of what she is describing involves processes and paperwork that no one should have to deal with, especially while grieving. VTA is making every effort to help all of the families stricken by this senseless tragedy with compassion and sensitivity. We are heartbroken for their loss and we are making every effort to provide clarity and support at every turn.”