Steven Romero, 6, Trevor Irby, 25, Killed by Gunman at Garlic Festival
GILROY, Calif. (July 29, 2019) — Three people were killed and roughly 16 others were injured late Sunday afternoon when a gunman opened fire into a crowd of festival-goers at the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival.
UPDATE: Keyla Salazar, 13, Steven Romero, 13, of San Jose, and Trevor Irby, 25, a biology major from Romulus, N.Y. who graduated from Keuka College in 2017.
The deadly shooting took place about 5:30 p.m. as the famous 3-day garlic food festival was about to close. The boy’s mother Barbara Aquirre, and his grandmother, Barbara Velasquez Aquirre, were among the 16 people injured in the shooting. Others injured were identified as Gabriella Gaus and Brynn Ota Matthews.
Police were told by witnesses that the gunman was armed with a rifle and dressed in a tactical vest and camouflage fatigues. He reportedly fired more than a dozen times and then paused briefly before he fired again into the crowd. The shooter, identified as Santino William Legan, 19, of Gilroy, was shot dead by police at the scene of the tragedy.
At this time, we do not know the motive for the shooting, but we do know that the suspect gained access to the festival through a creek area where he cut through fence at Christmas Hill Park where the annual festival is always held in Santa Clara County.
The food festival is held in a small city of about 60,000 people that declares itself the“Garlic Capital of the World.” It’s located roughly 30 miles southeast of San Jose.
Could the Gilroy Festival shooting have been prevented?
There are few details at this time about this horrible tragedy, but we do know that the suspect manged to gain access to the event by cutting through a chain link fence.
Typically, an event that draws 80,000 people such as the Garlic Festival, is required to provide adequate safety measures and security guards, but it’s unknown at this time how many guards were there on Sunday or if they were armed or not. While there was a metal detector and security check at the entrance to the festival, it appears that the perimeter of the festival was not being patrolled adequately.
Fortunately, there were some police officers on site because it is likely that the casualties could have been far worse had they not been there.
Police are investigating this tragedy and will look into whether or not there was sufficient security protocols followed by the festival organizers. Meanwhile, those who were injured or who lost a loved one in this mass shooting may need financial help for their losses and it’s highly likely that they will eventually file personal injury and wrongful death claims against the festival operators.
— This story will be updated as more details of what happened emerge.
You may donate to the victims of the Garlic Festival shooting on their verified Go Fund Me pages.
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