Shooting at California Festival Kills at Least 3, Official Says – The New York Times
“The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival,” the police said in a tweet on Sunday evening. “The scene is still active.”
The police did not immediately respond to requests for additional information. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies were assisting the Gilroy police.
Olivia Chiu, 24, a festival attendee from San Francisco, said she and her boyfriend were visiting when they heard gunshots around 5:30 p.m. She said the shots seemed to come from a central area near food and merchandise vendors.
“We saw people running after hearing a few gunshots fired,” she said. “Then we followed suit.”
She said that she and several others ran out of the park and into a nearby neighborhood, where they knocked on doors in search of shelter. “Everyone was in a state of panic and trying to escape out of the festival to a safer area,” she said.
Gilroy, which has about 60,000 people, is home to agricultural workers as well as people who commute to nearby technology jobs. “It is both a rural community and, at the same time, a larger community at the southern tip of Silicon Valley,” said Peter Leroe-Munoz, a city councilman.
Mr. Leroe-Munoz added that he had volunteered at a booth at the garlic festival and was horrified to learn that the shooting had taken place at the city’s prime event.
“That is our crown jewel in terms of our cultural identity,” he said. “For this kind of tragedy to take place at something so core to our community, it is a tragedy beyond words.”