Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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An active shooter incident at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California at around 5:40 p.m. local time Sunday left three dead, 15 injured and the suspected shooter killed by police. He has been identified as 19-year-old Santino William Legan.

Police said he was armed with an “SKS AK-47-type assault rifle” that was “purchased legally” by Legan in Nevada on July 9. He He was reportedly living or visiting with family members in Nevada though he is from Gilroy.

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said Sunday night that Legan “used a tool to cut through a fence to gain access” to the festival grounds.

Police said it’s still an active scene and they had been hunting the second suspect since the shooting. But as of Monday morning, police have not announced a capture and in fact, during a press briefing, Smithee said “we really don’t know” if there is a second suspect.

Initially, reports indicated that there was perhaps two or three victims. An unconfirmed report just before 7 p.m. Pacific was that there were up to 50 people injured. Earlier, a Bay Area reporter said the gunshot victim count was close to a dozen. As is often the case, early reports may not be accurate.

The AP reported five people were shot, citing an official source from the Santa Clara County Medical Center.

What is now known is a shooter opened fire at a food festival terrorizing hundreds, shooting up to 11 people, killing at least three, and as a result, dozens were injured in the panic of the mass active shooter incident. And then he was shot dead by police. But a second suspect is on the run.

A witness told NBC that he saw a shooter, “…walk up, he raised his gun and started spraying rounds all around. He was walking like he wanted to get stuff done. It was horrifying. He was ready to do some damage.”

The annual festival was being held at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, 35 miles southeast of San Jose, where its been held for 40 years.

One witness who told reporters they’d come face to face with the gunman and asked why he was doing this was told, “Because I’m really angry.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Police Shot & Killed Legan. Witnesses Reported Another Man & Police Had Been Searching But Admit They ‘Really Don’t Know’ if a Second suspect Exists

The police scanner audio, though frenetic, appears to confirm that there were two shooters with one possibly dead. The audio describes what sounds like two men, both white. In one case, a young man with a beard, shoulder length hair, and a hat. A man is described as wearing camouflage and carrying a long gun. Police were hunting the gunman in the creek on the north end of the park.

A tweet from just after 7 p.m. read that a person, “Picked a young man up to bring him to his dad…told me the man jumped over the fence, had large gun with extended magazine. He was nicked by the bullets, saw multiple people unresponsive, this is a mass shooting by standard in a small community.”

In this tweet report, the young man is apparently describing the suspect.

The suspect was described as a man wearing a camouflage hat, camouflage “uniform” with a long rifle with a removable magazine,” on a police scanner, where it is confirmed that the scene is an active shooter incident.

“We got an active shooter at the garlic festival,” can be heard on the audio.

Police can be heard saying the suspect is “in the creek south of Miller.”

Some are speculating that the shooter, or shooters, would likely not have been inside the festival but were perhaps outside it.

Witnesses told local media that the suspect, “… pulled out a semi-automatic rifle and starred shooting at everyone …He was shooting right to left.”

From early on, there were reports that there was possibly two shooters.

Now, KTVU is reporting police confirmed that one shooter is dead, the other is “outstanding,” meaning on the loose.

On a police scanner, dispatch can be heard describing what may be as second suspect; a white male in his 20s wearing a “camel green scarf.”

After 11 p.m., police can be seen in “full tactical gear searching creek with K9’s – helicopters overhead.”

By Monday, police were not so sure there is a second gunman or suspect.


2. The First Report Came From a Festival-Goer

In the video, people are running with someone asking “What’s going on?” Then, a gunshot can be heard and the person recording takes off running, too.

“This is crazy. This is actually crazy. How do you shoot at the garlic festival? Like who you got beef with at the garlic festival?”

Twitter user Niah wrote that there was no “emergency evacuation plan. We’ve been stranded in 100 degree heat for about 30 minutes.”

Local media reported that the Gilroy Garlic Festival grounds at the park were on lockdown “in the wake of reports of an active shooter situation.”

Early reports confirmed an active shooter incident.

“Gilroy police responding to reports of a active shooter at the North end of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Reports of at least one person injured. Some attendees still in hiding right now.”

People reported hearing dozens of shots fired.

A man and his family hid behind a van until it was safe to come out.


3. Gilroy Police Set Up Family Reunification Center & Were Looking to Speak With Witnesses to the Shooting

Police were looking for witnesses and to help reunify families and friends.

“If you were a witness to the shooting, and have not spoken to Police, you can call 408-846-0583 or respond to Gilroy PD. Officers can take your statement there. Please, only if you were a direct witness to the shooting.”

“Witness line and family reunification line: 408-846-0583.If you saw something today please call that number immediately. Please keep the main GPD line for emergencies only. Media please do not call that line. A media line will be posted soon.”

Police shared their condolences.

“The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival. The scene is still active. If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B.”


4. Federal Agents Are on the Scene Including ATF & FBI, & Sen. Kamala Harris & CA Gov. Newsom Tweet as Festival Goers Try to Make Sense of What Happened

The federal agency Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms’s San Francisco Field Division is responding to the scene of a reported shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California.

Around midnight, the FBI came on the case.

Sen. Kamala Harris said she’s closely monitoring the situation and called the incident an episode of “senseless violence.”

“Simply horrific. I’m grateful to the first responders who are on the scene in Gilroy, and my thoughts are with that community tonight. Our country has a gun violence epidemic that we cannot tolerate.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom 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.”


5. This Was the Final Day of the 3-Day Annual Festival

“Come to the 41st annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 26, 27 & 28 for three days of great garlicky food, live entertainment, celebrity chefs, and family fun!?”

An institution, the Gilroy Garlic Festival has been held at Christmas Hill for the past four decades. The three-day festival raises money for several charities and non-profit groups in the Gilroy community, according to its website.

Brian Bowe, executive director of the festival said the shooting is a “sad, horribly upsetting” incident.

The Gilroy Garlic Fest is one of the largest food festivals in the country.


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