07.29.2019

3 killed in shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival; gunman dead

3 killed in shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival; gunman dead AP Photo/Noah Berger

A gunman cut through a fence to avoid security and opened fire at Northern California's popular Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing three and wounding at least 15 before police fatally shot him as terrified people and performers ran for cover.

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, engaged the suspect and killed him, Smithee said.

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.

Smithee called the scene at the festival a "nightmare you hope you never have to live."

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," the father of Stephen Romero told NBC Bay Area. "That's all I can say."

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