A gunman opened fire at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday evening in Northern California, leaving four dead (including the gunman) and at least a dozen others wounded.
The rock band TinMan was wrapping up their set at 5:41 p.m. when a gunman started firing on concertgoers, many of which were families.
TinMan singer Christian Swain described the incident to CNN and said, “We ran off the stage (and) we crawled underneath it.”
“We could smell the gunpowder.”
Upon arrival, police engaged the shooter and he was fatally shot.
Chief of Police Scot Smithee told reporters on Sunday that the gunman was able to access the concert by cutting through a fence.
Some witnesses have described a second shooter at the event, but police have yet to confirm that those reports were accurate.
However, Smithee says that a manhunt is underway for a second gunman.
“It’s sort of a nightmare that you hope to never have to live in reality, but we find ourselves in the circumstances where we have to live it today,” Smithee added.
A video of the incident showed several concertgoers running in panic as gunshots are heard in the background.
A chaotic video posted on Twitter shortly after 6 p.m. showed dozens of visitors running on the festival grounds. Panicked voices could be heard in the background. pic.twitter.com/q5CDkTGucA
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) July 29, 2019
Michael Paz, a 72-year-old hat vendor at the festival, said the shooter came “ready to shoot.”
“It was quite shocking, and I’m fortunate to be alive,” he told the San Fransico Chronicle. “He came ready to shoot because he was wearing a protective vest. He was shooting left; he was shooting right without any particular aim.”
One of the tragic deaths at the concert included a young boy named Steven Romero, NBC Bay Area reported.
“My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6,” the boy’s father, Alberto Romero, told the news station.
“That’s all I can say.”
One mother described the massacre as “awful,” explaining that the shots rang out just as she had left her daughters to go find food, Mercury News reported.
“I ran to find the girls … and we basically ran into each other,” she said. “I thought, we’re open prey. It was awful.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.