Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting eyewitnesses recount the horror: 'You could smell the gunpowder, you could hear the screams'
The shooting that occurred in Gilroy on Sunday evening resulted in the deaths of 4 people, including the shooter, and left over a dozen injured
Sunday's mass shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival that left four dead and more than a dozen injured shook the country and eyewitnesses shared many accounts of the incident. One witness Rudy Sandoval told ABC News 7 that he saw the injured being taken to safety by the police on golf carts as they performed CPR on them, attempting to revive them. He told the news outlet that the police didn't have anything else to transport them in at the time. He saw six golf carts and multiple people in each, all trying to evacuate quickly. It was chaos when unaware festival-goers realized that they were in the middle of an active shooting.
At first, people thought it was just regular fireworks but they soon realized that it was an active shooter situation. Sandoval said that he was at his booth, where he was selling accessories when he saw someone walking around with a firearm. People tried to jump into his booth to seek protection and hide under the table. Kids were separated from their parents and all he could hear was people screaming "run".
Litzy Munguia, a vendor attending the event with her boyfriend, said that the shooter stared at her. "I literally felt like he stared straight at me where we were at, and when I saw him stare straight at me, I saw the cops shoot him," she said to ABC News 7. Munguia, who is from Tulare, said that when she saw him get shot, her boyfriend pushed her aside to hide while people kept telling her to stay down. She thought she was going to get shot. "I'm thankful for my life. I'm thankful that I'm going to go home," she said. She said that he looked like he wanted to kill as many people as he could.
Eyewitnesses also said that the police shot the shooter in the head. Candice Marqui, another eyewitness told Fox that the gunman looked "quiet" and "didn't want attention drawn to himself". She said that he was wearing khakis. She saw two of her coworkers get shot and had she not been a little away from the tent, she would have been shot as well. Another witness said that the shooter was shooting in every direction, "I could see him shooting in just every direction. He wasn't aiming at anyone specifically... He definitely was prepared for what he was doing," said Julissa Contreras to NBC. She said he looked like "your average white guy" who was shooting "kind of just going left to right and shooting whoever he could, honestly."
"He definitely shot off more than 30 rounds," she said. "It was just like nonstop — just like two, three, four shots a second," she said, adding that he looked like he was in "private security". "But he had, like, straps and clips, and he was completely prepared for what he was doing. Absolutely," she said. The shooting occurred late into the final day of the festival when vendors were getting ready to wrap up and go home.
One witness told NBC that he was on his way out of the festival when he felt a bullet whiz by his head, barely missing him and when he turned around to see what was going on, he saw everyone running. The band that was performing at the festival, TinMan, were on stage doing an encore when the shooting happened.
The gunman headed for the food booth where people had flocked, they told ABC 7 news. "It appeared he was shooting into the largest group of people he could find," said one band member. They said that it looked like an assault rifle, although he wasn't sure. They immediately cleared the stage and ducked under the stage after spotting the gunman. They hid under the stage in fear and they had no idea how long it would last. One of the people with them saw a bullet hit the stage. They heard 30 or more rounds. People were scattering and one of them was on the side from where the shots were fired. The sound crew, the band and couple of volunteers remained hiding with them and kept telling one another to stay down.
They said, "You could smell the gunpowder, you could hear the screams. It was awful."