Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
6-Year-Old Among 3 Killed in Gilroy Festival Shooting
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
July 29, 2019

Share

GILROY — A 6-year-old boy described by his grandmother as always kind and happy was one of three people killed and at least 15 others injured when a gunman heard to be “really angry” opened fire during the closing moments of the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

The gunman appeared to randomly target people when he opened fire just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday, near the conclusion of the three-day festival.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said the gunman was armed with a rifle and sneaked in through a fence that borders a parking lot next to a creek. He appeared to randomly target people when he opened fire just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the conclusion of the three-day festival that attracts more than 100,000 people to the city known as the “Garlic Capital of the World.”
Police responded within a minute and killed the suspect, Smithee said.
A law enforcement official said the gunman was identified as Santino William Legan and believed he was 19. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday.

‘My Son Had His Whole Life to Live’

Some witnesses reported a second suspect, Smithee said, but it was unclear whether that person was armed or simply provided assistance. A manhunt continued late into the night.
A 6-year-old boy was one among those killed, his father said. “My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6,” Alberto Romero, the father of Stephen Romero told NBC Bay Area. “That’s all I can say.”
The boy’s grandmother, Maribel Romero, told ABC7 News she searched several hospitals before learning he had died. She said he was “always kind, happy and, you know, playful.”
Smithee called the scene at the festival a “nightmare you hope you never have to live.”

A young couple embrace at a parking lot after a shooting Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. (AP Photo/Thomas Mendoza)
The wounded were taken to multiple hospitals, and their conditions ranged from fair to critical, with some in surgery Sunday night. At least five were treated and released.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival features food, cooking contests, and music. It’s a decades-old staple in the agricultural city of 50,000 about 100 miles west of Fresno, and normally a sea of tranquility for families. Security is tight — festival-goers pass through metal detectors and their bags are searched.

‘I’m Really Angry’

On Sunday, the band TinMan was starting an encore with the song “We’re an American Band” when the shooting started.
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 like an assault rifle. Van Breen and other members of the band dove under the stage.
Van Breen, from nearby Santa Clara, said he heard someone shout: “Why are you doing this?” and the reply: “Because I’m really angry.”
Their audience began screaming and running, and the five members of TinMan and others dove under the stage.
Van Breen’s bandmate, Vlad Malinovsky of Walnut Creek, said he heard a lot of shots and then it stopped. Later, law enforcement came by and told the band members and others hiding with them to come out with their hands up.

A Sound Like Fireworks

Taylor Jackson was working at a booth drawing caricatures of festival-goers when she heard gunfire, saw people running and “ran for the hills.” She said her boss ran in the opposite direction. Several hours later, Jackson was at a reunification center trying to get information on her whereabouts.
Donna Carlson of Reno, Nevada, was helping a friend at a jewelry booth when “all of a sudden it was pop, pop, pop. And I said, ‘I sure hope that’s fireworks.'” She got on her hands and knees and hid behind a table until police told her it was safe to leave.
In a tweet, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the bloodshed “nothing short of horrific” and expressed appreciation for the police response.


Stanford Medical Center had two patients being treated from the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, spokeswoman Julie Greicius said. She had no details on their injuries or conditions. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center received five victims, spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said. She also had no information on their conditions.
Video posted to social media showed people running in terror as shots rang out.

ATF Agents at the Scene

Evenny Reyes of Gilroy, 13, told the Mercury News that she spent the day at the festival with her friends and relatives.
“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandanna wrapped around his leg because he got shot. And there were people on the ground, crying,” Reyes said. “There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.”
Reyes said that she didn’t run at first because the gunshots sounded like fireworks.
“It started going for five minutes, maybe three. It was like the movies — everyone was crying, people were screaming,” she said.

Police remain on the scene after a deadly shooting Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene of the shooting.
The Gilroy Police Department on its Twitter account issued a statement saying: “The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival.”
Smithee said the festival is a source of pride for the community and that thousands donate their time to make it a success.
“It’s incredibly sad and disheartening that an event that does so much good for our community has to suffer from a tragedy like this,” he said.

DON'T MISS

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

DON'T MISS

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

DON'T MISS

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

DON'T MISS

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

DON'T MISS

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

DON'T MISS

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

DON'T MISS

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

DON'T MISS

San Francisco Mayor Announces the City Will Receive Pandas from China

DON'T MISS

49ers to Pick 1st Round for First Time Since 2021

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Finding an Apartment May Be Easier for California Pet Owners Under New Legislation

UP NEXT

Who Owns Businesses in California? A Lawmaker Wants the Public to Know

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

California Sets Long-Awaited Drinking Water Limit for ‘Erin Brockovich’ Contaminant

UP NEXT

See the Fully Equipped House Homeless People Built on LA Freeway Strip

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

UP NEXT

Vital Climate Tool or License to Pollute? The Battle Over CA’s First Carbon Capture Project

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

3 hours ago

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

3 hours ago

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

3 hours ago

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

3 hours ago

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

3 hours ago

San Francisco Mayor Announces the City Will Receive Pandas from China

3 hours ago

49ers to Pick 1st Round for First Time Since 2021

4 hours ago

Jury Selection Could Be Nearing a Close in Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial in New York

4 hours ago

Finding an Apartment May Be Easier for California Pet Owners Under New Legislation

4 hours ago

Abandoned Pup LB Finds Hope and Healing. He’s Available for Adoption at Mell’s Mutts.

4 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

WASHINGTON  — With rare bipartisan momentum, the House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiw...

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

1 hour ago

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Video /
2 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

3 hours ago

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

3 hours ago

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

Central Octane: Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO
3 hours ago

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

3 hours ago

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

3 hours ago

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend