Shooting at California Festival Kills at Least 3

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Police officers in Gilroy, Calif., after a deadly shooting at the city’s annual garlic festival on Sunday.
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Shooting at California Festival Kills at Least 3

At least three people were killed and several more were injured in a shooting at a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., on Sunday, a city councilman said.

Police officers in Gilroy, Calif., after a deadly shooting at the city’s annual garlic festival on Sunday.

The councilman, Dion Bracco, said three people had been killed and 12 had been injured in Gilroy, which is about 30 miles southeast of San Jose. He did not know whether the number of injured victims included the three fatalities.

The number of victims could not immediately be confirmed by the police.

Mr. Bracco added that one suspect was in custody.

“They don’t know if there were more, so they have to treat it as an active situation,” he said. “We have police out here from as far away as San Jose.”

The shooting took place during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual three-day event held at Christmas Hill Park. Gilroy, a city of about 60,000 people, is a major producer of garlic and is home to agricultural workers and people who commute to technology jobs.

Marie Blankley, the mayor pro tempore, called the shooting “heartbreaking and tragic” and Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Twitter that it was “nothing short of horrific.”

Videos posted on social media showed attendees running past white tents in a grassy field, apparently fleeing the sound of gunshots. People had been told to gather at Gavilan College, a community college on the outskirts of the city.

The police said on Twitter that there was a shooting but did not immediately respond to requests for additional information. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies were assisting.

Olivia Chiu, 24, a festival attendee from San Francisco, said she and her boyfriend heard gunshots around 5:30 p.m. that seemed to come from a central area near food and merchandise vendors.

“Everyone was in a state of panic and trying to escape out of the festival to a safer area,” she said.

She said she and several others ran out of the park and into a neighborhood, where they knocked on doors in search of shelter.

Jonathan Williams, 29, who was raised in Gilroy, was sitting on a hay bale when he heard what he thought were fireworks. When the sound did not stop, he realized they were gunshots — at least 20.

He saw lots of people, including children with their parents, running frantically and hiding under anything they could find. “There were people jumping in closed booth tents, hiding under tables,” he said.

Peter Leroe-Munoz, a city councilman, said he had volunteered at a booth at the garlic festival and was horrified to learn that the shooting had taken place at the city’s prime event.

“That is our crown jewel in terms of our cultural identity,” he said. “For this kind of tragedy to take place at something so core to our community, it is a tragedy beyond words.”


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