3 killed in California garlic festival shooting; gunman dead
What we know:
- 3 killed, including a 6-year-old boy, and 15 others wounded in a shooting at the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival some 80 miles southeast of San Francisco
- Gilroy police quickly shot and killed a gunman
- The deceased gunman has been identified as Santino William Legan, 19, CBS News has learned
- Manhunt on for possible accomplice
Three people were killed and 15 others wounded after at least one gunman opened fire Sunday evening during the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, authorities said. A suspect was also killed in the shooting that sent hundreds of panicked people scrambling for safety.
The deceased victims included 6-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero of San Jose, authorities said. The conditions of the wounded ranged from critical to fair.
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. CBS News has learned he has been identified as Santino William Legan, 19.
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 manhunt 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 News 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,” Smithee 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.”
Witness: “He just started shooting”
Cheryl Low and Candice Marquez were working at a vendor’s booth at the festival. They told “CBS This Morning” on Monday that their bosses had been shot and are currently in the hospital, where they have both come out of surgery and are in stable condition.
They said the gunman had a high-powered rifle and did not appear to be specifically targeting people. “No, no. Just anybody. He was going back and forth,” said Marquez.
“It was random,” said Low. “He shot one shot, then he put the clip in, and he just started moving shooting back and forth, walking towards our tent because that’s where most of the people were in that area, and he started just shooting.”
6-year-old killed; mother and grandmother injured
A 6-year-old boy is among the victims in Sunday’s shooting. Stephen Romero was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival with his mother and grandmother who are being treated for gunshot wounds at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. Stephen’s mother was reportedly shot in the stomach and hand, and his grandmother in the leg.
CBS News’ Janet Shamlian spoke with the boy’s father outside the hospital Monday. He wasn’t ready to say much, but did call it the worst day of his life.
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 appeared to be an assault rifle.
Van Breen and other members of the band dove under the stage.
Van Breen told the station 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 urged people at the festival to be careful.
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.