Police: 3 killed, 12 wounded, suspect shot dead at Gilroy Garlic Festival
GILROY, Calif. (KTVU) - Three people were killed by a gunman at the Gilroy Garlic Festival before police shot and killed him Sunday, the city's police chief said.
Police Chief Scot Smithee said a second suspect could be on the loose and dozens of officers are searching the area. Smithee said the suspect who was killed came into the festival through a nearby creek by cutting through a fence. His name and age were not released.
The names of the victims who were slain were also not released.
Witneses describe Gilroy shooter loading rifle silently
Smithee said Gilroy police officers were at the festival and "engaged the suspect" within a minute of the gunfire. Smithee did not say how many shots were fired or how many officers fired their guns. He said the suspect was armed with a rifle, but did not elaborate.
It was not immediately clear if the 12 people who were injured were hit by gunfire or injured in other ways.
A spokeswoman for Stanford Medical Center said two patients are being treated at the Palo Alto facility, but offered no details about their injuries or conditions.
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said the hospital had received five victims. Alexiou also had no information on their conditions.
The Gilroy Police Department confirmed the 5:40 p.m. shooting in a tweet about two hours after the shooting.
"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.'' the tweet said.
Police from multiple nearby agencies responded to the festival at Christmas Hill Park and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also assisting with the investigation.
Witnesses to the shooting described confusion and panic at the scene.
Evenny Reyes of Gilroy, 13, spent the day at festival with her friends and relatives.
"We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot. And there were people on the ground, crying," Reyes said. "There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out."
The teen said that she didn't run at first because the gunshots sounded like fireworks. "It started going for five minutes, maybe three. It was like the movies -- everyone was crying, people were screaming."
Todd Jones, a sound engineer, said he was at the front of the festival's Vineyard stage when he heard what sounded like a firework.
"But then it started to increase, more rapidly, which sounded more like gunfire, and at that point people realized what was happening," Jones said.
Video first posted on social media sites showed people running for safety at the festival.
Below are videos from the scene. WARNING: VIDEOS MAY CONTAIN GRAPHIC IMAGES.
Both Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Donald Trump tweeted their support for the victims and the community of Gilroy and asked that people stay safe.
The shooting occurred during the last day of the annual garlic festival, a three-day celebration featuring food, cooking competitions and music that attracts more than 100,000 people
The Associated Press contributed to this report.