California Garlic Festival Shooting: Three Dead, Suspect killed In Shooting

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                 In a shooting at Sunday night, there were at least three people who were killed and 15 other people injured, authorities said. The shooting took place at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California and a suspect was also shot and killed.

Police Chief Scot Smithee said at a news conference, “It’s sort of a nightmare you hope you never have to live in reality,”

Smithee said that the suspect appeared to be shooting “somewhat randomly” and right now the investigators had no possible information regarding his motive. He also said that the police believed a second person who may possibly have been involved but that they didn’t know in what way he was involved.

Joy Alexiou, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County Public Health System said that there was the total number of eleven people who were transported to two hospitals with various gunshot wounds after the shooting at one of the largest food festivals in the United States took place.

The festival was founded back in the year 1979 to celebrate the crop of the region, including garlic-inspired foods, drink, live entertainment as well as cooking competitions. The festival is hosted by volunteers as well as describes itself as the world’s greatest summer food festival.

Out of the injured one, three had been already treated and was also released late Sunday, and the rest were in fair to critical condition, she said.

Police work the scene after a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California on Sunday, July 28, 2019.Noah Berger / AP

There were also eight additional people who were injured in other ways, she said. Authorities have not yet released any of the further information on the identity of the suspects or the victims. The police chief also said the motive behind the killings also remained unclear.

Previously, there were several law enforcement sources that told that 11 people had been shot.

Gilroy City Council member Dion Bracco as well as a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told the NBC News that three people had been pronounced dead.

Mayor Roland Velasco said, “I would ask for the thoughts and prayers of the community as our officers continue to investigate this tragic and senseless crime,”

People were still showing up in the festival by the busload, milling around Christmas Hill Park under a hot sun and among the scent of garlic, a few hours before the shooting.

The festival was also near the end of its third day which was also its final day when the gunshots were reported at around 5:41 pm, said Smithee.

Any kind of weapons is strictly prohibited at Christmas Hill Park as well as security personnel also check the bags upon arrival. Smithee said the gunman seems to have cut through a fence in order to get into the event.

There were also several videos that were posted on social media which appeared to show attendees scattering in confusion as at least one loud popping sound could be heard in the background.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, reacted on this incident by saying, “This is nothing short of horrific”, he also said that his office was monitoring the situation closely.

He also tweeted:  “This is nothing short of horrific.  Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community. My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops.”

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Carrie Brunner

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