What we know

  • 4 dead, including a six-year-old boy and a gunman, 15 others wounded in shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival in city some 80 miles southeast of San Francisco.
  • Gilroy police quickly shot the gunman dead
  • Search on for possible accomplice

Four people including a suspect are dead and 15 others wounded after at least one gunman opened fire Sunday evening during the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, authorities said. Hundreds of people were sent scrambling for safety, CBS San Francisco reports.

The dead include six-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero, of San Jose, authorities said.

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee told reporters in a late-night briefing that Gilroy officers engaged a suspect within a minute of shots ringing out and killed him.

Smithee said witnesses told authorities at least one other person may have been involved in the shooting but there was no confirmation of that or the role he or she might have played. He said a search was underway for the possible accomplice.

Federal law enforcement sources told CBS News the FBI was among numerous law enforcement agencies at the scene assisting Gilroy police, who were leading the investigation.

Smithee said the suspect or suspects appeared to have cut through a wire fence at a creek bordering the festival grounds to bypass heavy security to gain access.

There was no early word on a possible motive. Witnesses told CBS San Francisco the gunman appeared to be firing at random. Some witnesses said he suddenly appeared from behind a stage before beginning to shoot.

"It's just incredibly sad and disheartening that an event that does so much good for our community has to suffer from a tragedy like this," Smitee added.

The shooting happened on the last day of the annual three-day festival. It features food, cooking competitions and music and attracts more than 100,000 people, The Associated Press notes.

Gilroy, a city of 50,000 some 80 miles southeast of San Francisco, is known as "The Garlic Capital of the World."

Close call for band

The band Tin Man was doing an encore when gunfire erupted, CBS San Francisco reports.

Singer Jack van Breen said he saw a man wearing a green shirt and grayish handkerchief around his neck fire into the food area with what looked appeared to be an assault rifle.

Van Breen and other members of the band dove under the stage.

Van Breen told the statoin he heard someone shout, "Why are you doing this?" The person responded, "Because I'm really angry."

A festival attendee captured video of the band's set when the shooting began.

*WARNING: Possibly distressing footage*

Witnesses describe shooting

A young boy told CBS San Francisco what went through his mind:

Another witness described hearing what sounded like "a semi-automatic going off really close" when the shooting unfolded. "As soon as the gunfire started, everybody scattered and people were yelling for their kids," the witness told CBS San Francisco.

Another witness mistook the gunfire for a music act. "I thought it was, like, an opening act for the concert," he said.

Trump, candidates, lawmakers react to shooting

President Trump has been briefed on the shooting in Gilroy and claims that the shooter has yet to be apprehended. "Be careful and safe!" Mr. Trump wrote.

 Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also weighed in:

 Fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who grew up in the East Bay and previously served as San Francisco District Attorney, also tweeted about the shooting, calling it "simply horrific."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom echoed Harris' statement and said that the state "stands with the Gilroy community."

ATF and FBI responds to Gilroy shooting
The ATF office in San Francisco is responding to the reported shooting, according to a tweet Sunday night. The FBI is also assisting.

Gilroy police set up reunification services

The Gilroy Police Department have set up services meant to help reunite those who were at the Garlic Festival with their loved ones, including a phone number and reunification center at Gavilan College in parking lot B.


First published on July 28, 2019 / 10:31 PM
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