VTA Yard Shooting

San Jose VTA Yard Shooting Victim Adrian Balleza Loved Serving Community, Friend Says

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Adrian Balleza is described by a friend as a loving husband and father who loved his job because he was serving his community.

Balleza, 29, was the youngest person to die in Wednesday's violent rampage on nine Valley Transportation Authority workers in San Jose. A coworker shot and killed Balleza at a job his friend and neighbor said he loved.

"He was so happy to work for the county," friend Beatrice Trotter said. "He was so happy to drive the bus. He was so happy that he got a new schedule. He started at four in the morning so he could come home and spend time with his family in the evening."

Trotter said she has known Balleza and his family for nearly two years since the young father moved in to their Gilroy neighborhood with his wife and baby boy.

"We had a wonderful relationship," Trotter said. "As soon as he moved in to the neighborhood, he came over, introduced himself, brought his wife, his baby."

The victim's family politely declined a request for an interview, but a loved one said Balleza was the most compassionate friend or relative that anyone would want to have.

"Just two weeks ago, he had a littler party for his niece who was getting her master'sand he invited me over," Trotter said. "He knew I wasn't feeling well so he came, he brough me some macaroni salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, and he said 'My wife makes the best Oreo cheesecake, would like a piece?' He went back home and came back and forth like five times."

Friends and former classmates of shooting victim Adrian Balleza held a small get together at Yerba Buena High School in San Jose. Sergio Quintana reports.

While investigators continue to figure out the gunman's motive for the vicious attack on his colleagues, friends like Trotter said they cannot imagine why anyone would want to hurt Balleza.

"I'm devastated," Trotter said. "So young. Gone so young."

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