Just in: Angry shooter kills three, injures several others at California festival
At least three persons were killed and 12 others injured Sunday after a shooting that sent panicked people running at an annual food festival in Gilroy, Northern California.
The shooting occurred during the three-day celebration featuring food, cooking competitions and music that attracts more than 100,000 people. Sunday was the final day of this year’s event.
Gilroy Councilman Dion Bracco said the number of dead and injured is a preliminary figure.
Gilroy Dispatch quoting a spokeswoman for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center said one of the shooting victims died at Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy.
Three shooting victims remain at SLRH in serious condition, while two other patients were transferred from the Gilroy hospital to Valley Med.
In addition, five gunshot victims, ranging in condition from critical to fair, were transported directly to Valley Med from the scene.
That makes a total of 11 shooting victims treated at county hospitals in relation to the incident, which was reported to emergency dispatchers as an active shooter situation about 5:30pm Sunday at Christmas Hill Park. The scene remained active until at least 9pm, with no confirmation that police had apprehended a suspect.
Witnesses reported confusion and panic as shots rang out at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the city of 50,000 located about 80 miles (176 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco.
The band Tin Man was just starting an encore when shots rang out.
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 says he heard someone shout: “Why are you doing this? “and the reply: “because I’m really angry. ”
His bandmate Vlad Malinovsky from Walnut Creek, California, 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.
Stanford Medical Center has 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.
Evenny Reyes of Gilroy, 13, told the newspaper that she spent the day at the festival with her friends and relatives.
“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana 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.”
Todd Jones, a sound engineer, told the newspaper that he was at the front of the festival’s Vineyard stage when he heard what sounded like a firework. “But then it started to increase, more rapidly, which sounded more like gunfire, and at that point people realized what was happening,” Jones said.