Multiple victims reported in Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

An lively shooting on the famed Gilroy Garlic Festival Sunday night left greater than dozen casualties and sending lots of of terrified guests working for his or her lives.

The meals competition on the “Garlic Capitol of the World” was about to shut round 5:30 p.m. when gunfire damaged out.

Authorities mentioned the scene was nonetheless lively, with dozens of officers from across the area on the scene. President Trump mentioned on Twitter that “reports are that shooter has not yet been apprehended. Be careful and safe!”

Witnesses reported listening to a number of rounds fired by a gunman armed with a rifle and was dressed in some type of vest and camouflage fatigues. Officials haven’t but mentioned whether or not there have been fatalities however witnesses there seemed to be some.

Taylor Pellegrini, 25, mentioned she was sitting on a bench close to the meals courtroom along with her boyfriend and two mates when she heard what seemed like firecrackers. When the pops continued and folks began working, she realized they had been in hazard.

“People were yelling ‘active shooter, active shooter,’ and some people tripped and stayed on the ground so bullets didn’t hit them,” she mentioned. “People were under tables and dropping their phones and whatever they had in their hands.”

Pellegrini, who lives in Hollister, was capable of get out rapidly as a result of she and her mates had been near the exit. As they walked to the close by dwelling of a buddy, the place they’d parked, they noticed cops racing by way of the streets.

Pellegrini mentioned safety appeared weak on the fashionable three-day competition, which was set to finish Sunday. Her bag was checked on the entrance, she mentioned, however certainly one of her buddy’s was not.

“I feel really scared,” mentioned Pellegrini, who favors the competition for its wealthy meals and music. “It makes me not want to go anywhere anymore.”

Vivian Zhang, 24, mentioned she was strolling towards the exit with two mates when she heard pops and crackles, after which noticed abrupt flashes of sunshine. A truck they had been standing subsequent to was struck 4 occasions; bullets ricocheted off the bottom.

That’s once they began working as quick as they might.

“They started putting all of us on the parking shuttles,” mentioned Zhang, an Oakland resident. “To their credit, the volunteers running it were very responsive, they weren’t panicking.”

Everyone appeared disoriented, Zhang mentioned. Parents grabbed their kids as police bumped into the gang. “It’s a whole entire group feeling of sheer terror,” mentioned Emily Gifford, Zhang’s 23-year-old buddy.

As Zhang was working, she mentioned, she remembered considering, “I am surviving a mass shooting right now, but I’m not even sure if that will be true in a moment.”

One of Zhang’s mates was on the 2017 Las Vegas music competition the place 58 folks had been killed by a shooter. She remembers seeing Snapchat posts from the scene. Still, she by no means thought this may very well be her actuality, particularly at a neighborhood occasion in rural California.

“It was getting closer and closer to home,” she mentioned. “And now it happened to us.”

Videos from the scene confirmed folks working and screaming throughout the competition grounds.

“Please pray everyone. Random shooters started shooting everywhere,” one particular person tweeted. “One boy is dead so far and others injured. We’re still waiting while they find them.”

There had been additionally
a number of stories on social media about a number of accidents.

“Scariest moments of my life at the Gilroy garlic festival,” one particular person tweeted. “I hope everyone made it out okay.”

Another witness, Julissa Contreras, instructed NBC Bay Area that she noticed a white man in his early to mid-30s firing a rifle that was “able to shoot three to four shots a second.”

“It was just rapid firing,” she mentioned. “I could see him shooting in just every direction. He wasn’t aiming at anyone specifically. It was just left to right, right to left…. He definitely was prepared for what he was doing.”

As of eight:30 p.m., there have been no stories of an arrest in the shooting. Police had additionally not launched any details about the shooter.

Founded in 1979, the Gilroy Garlic Festival payments itself as “the world’s greatest summer food festival.” The three-day occasion, held at Christmas Hill Park in the city southeast of San Jose,
is hosted by neighborhood volunteers and raises cash for native faculties, charities and nonprofit organizations.

The competition attracts tens of hundreds of individuals yearly to the Santa Clara County city of 48,000.

Gilroy police mentioned on Twitter: “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.”

Police arrange a witness and household reunification line at (408) 846-0583.

Times workers writers Jaclyn Cosgrove and Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.

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