At least one gunman opened fire Sunday at Northern California’s Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing at least three and injuring 15, before being fatally shot by police stationed nearby who responded in less than a minute after the initial shot was fired, a police official said.
The shooting rampage began at 5:41 p.m. on the north side of the festival, Chief of Police Scot Smithee said at a press conference late Sunday.
Smithee said the gunman gained access to the festival by cutting through a fence near a creek area. He said some witnesses reported a second suspect, but police could not immediately confirm those reports.
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Founded in 1979, the Gilroy Garlic Festival bills itself as “the world’s greatest summer food festival.” The three-day event is hosted by community volunteers and raises money for local schools, charities, and nonprofit organizations.
The festival attracts tens of thousands of people every year to the Santa Clara County town of 58,000.
“It is such a sad, just horribly upsetting circumstance that this happened on the third and final day of the festival,” Brian Bowe, the executive director of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, said at a Sunday night news conference. “And to have seen this event end this way this day is just one of the most tragic and sad things I have ever had to see.”
Stay tuned as developments are still unfolding.