Four dead and 15 injured in shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival in California after shooter opens fire during annual food event
The shooting occurred at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual three-day food festival that aims to invite the garlic lovers of the world, located about 30 miles from San Jose.
UPDATE 10.28 p.m ET: Gilroy Police chief Scot Smithee in a press briefing after the incident announced that the shooting started at 5.41 p.m. He confirmed that a suspect was shot and killed. He also confirmed there were four fatalities including the suspect and 15 people were injured. Among the four fatalities is a 6-year-old boy named Steven Romero. He mentioned that although the Gilroy garlic festival has stringent security measures that include metal detectors, it appears as though the suspects had come in through a creek adjoining the area to get access to the festival. They used some sort of tool to cut through the perimeter fence. Some of the witnesses say there may have been a second suspect. The police are also looking at a second suspect, although at this point, they have not confirmed the capacity to which the person was involved. They are unsure if the second person was only an accomplice or was involved in the shooting.
Police say the suspect used a rifle, however, no motive for the shooting has been identified
GILROY, CALIFORNIA: At least three people have been killed in the shooting that occurred in Gilroy, California on Sunday afternoon, according to the New York Times.
City councilman Dion Bracco told the publication that apart from the fatalities, 12 people had also been injured. The shooting occurred at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual three-day food festival that aims to invite the garlic lovers of the world, located about 30 miles from San Jose. The town is a major producer of garlic.
One suspect has been killed and a supposed second suspect is still on the loose at Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, sources told NBC Bay Area.
"They don’t know if there were more, so they have to treat it as an active situation," the councilman said. "We have police out here from as far away as San Jose."
Marie Blankly who is the temporary mayor of Gilroy said that the incident was "heartbreaking and tragic". President Trump, US Senator Kamala Harris as well as Governor Gavin Newsom extended their support to the community on Twitter. Harris also said, "Our country has a gun violence epidemic that we cannot tolerate."
Law Enforcement is at the scene of shootings in Gilroy, California. Reports are that shooter has not yet been apprehended. Be careful and safe!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
Gilroy Police Department tweeted (at the time of the article was being written) that the situation was rapidly evolving and that people were asked to stay away from Christmas Hill Park, where the festival was taking place. They still say that it is an active crime scene. "If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B," they have tweeted. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies were assisting the Gilroy police.
According to multiple reports, the shooting is said to have been first heard around 5:30 p.m. local time (8:30 p.m. ET). At first, the festival-goers reportedly thought they were fireworks but as they got louder, they realized they were gunshots. Six people were transported to St. Louise Regional Hospital and another five were transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to CNN. The report also said that the FBI is also responding to the situation. A witness told the news outlet that "People (were) looking for their kids, too. And as soon as the gunfire started, everybody scattered and people were yelling for their kids."
According to the San Franciso Chronicle, the shooter was a white male in his 30s. Michael Paz, 72, a hat vendor at the festival told the publication that the shooter had been shooting at random. "He came ready to shoot because he was wearing a protective vest,” Paz said. “He was shooting left; he was shooting right without any particular aim.” Another eye witness, Julissa Contreras told NBC, that the shooter was "a white man in his early to mid-30s firing a rifle," eyewitness Julissa Contreras told NBC. She also said that the shooter was able to fire three to four shots per second.
Witness line and family reunification line: 408-846-0583.