WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- At least four people were reported dead and 15 more injured during a shooting incident on Sunday evening at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in San Jose, California.
- The suspected gunman was shot dead by police officers, according to Gilroy’s chief of police.
- The suspect was believed to have cut through the fence to get into the festival. The police are now looking for a possible accomplice.
Authorities are now hunting for a suspected accomplice of the gunman who fatally shot three people, including a 6-year-old boy, on early Sunday evening at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in San Jose, California.
Police officers shot and killed the suspect within minutes of opening fire at the three-day food festival.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said that a second suspect “was involved in some way, we just don’t know in what way.” He added that they have no idea about the motive yet and that officers recovered a rifle at the scene.
The shooter, who has not been publicly identified, was able to get inside the festival by cutting through a fence to evade metal detectors and other security at the entrance.
In an interview with ABC7 News, the 6-year-old victim was identified by his grandmother as Stephen Romero. The boy’s mother and other grandmother were also being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds, Maribel Romero said. “I want justice for my grandson,” she added.
A witness, 13-year-old Evenny Reyes told the San Jose Mercury News that she initially thought the gunfire was fireworks. She was shocked to see someone with a wounded leg.
“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot,” Reyes told the newspaper. “There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.”
The Gilroy Garlic Festival is founded in 1979 and is run by volunteers and held outdoors at Christmas Hill Park.
The event bans weapons of any kind, according to its website. It also won’t allow entry to anyone wearing clothing or paraphernalia indicating membership in a gang, including a motorcycle club.
“I want to express my extreme shock and sadness about what’s happened today,” said Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco. “I would ask for the thoughts and prayers of the community as our Gilroy police officers continue to investigate this tragic and senseless crime.”