GILROY (CBS SF) — The home of the world-famous Gilroy Garlic Festival was in mourning Monday, wrestling with the raw emotions of a mass shooting that left four dead, including the gunman, and a more than a dozen people injured.
At a news conference Monday morning, authorities confirmed that a 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl, and a man in his 20s were among those killed by the gunman.
Friends and family members took to social media to express their grief. Among them was Christine Ibanez, who mourned the death of 6-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero, who had attended the festival with his mother and grandmother.
Ibanez’s Facebook post read:
“RIP little one. This should have never happened. Hug your little ones tightly tonight. Prayers to his family.”
The 13-year-old girl has been identified as Keyla Salazar of San Jose, according to the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office.
Keuka College in upstate New York said a recent graduate had died in the shooting. In a letter obtained by KPIX 5, the college said Trevor Irby, who graduated with a biology degree in 2017, was among those killed.
“We are shocked that this latest episode of senseless gun violence resulted in the loss of one of our recent graduates—graduates in whom we place so much hope because of their potential to create a brighter tomorrow,” school president Amy Storey said in a statement.
A second Keuka College graduate was with Irby at the time of the shooting, but was not physically injured.
The Santa Clara County Health System said they treated 19 patients in connection with the shooting at their hospitals. Eleven patients had gunshot wounds, while 8 others suffered non-gunshot injuries.
Santa Clara County Health System says their two hospitals (St. Louise’s Medical Center in Gilroy and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose) treated 19 patients total. 11 had gunshot wounds, 8 suffered other non-gunshot injuries. @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/8Iljaqouc9
— Jackie Ward (@JackieKPIX) July 29, 2019
Authorities confirmed the identity of the suspected shooter as 19-year-old Santino William Legan of Gilroy. Legan graduated from Gilroy High School in 2017.
Local and federal authorities searched Legan’s father’s house early Monday morning for evidence in the case. They also found the vehicle Legan allegedly used to travel to the festival. A search warrant has been obtained for the vehicle.
CBS News has learned the suspect has been identified as Santino William Legan, 19. I was at his father’s house in Gilroy for hours early this morning as police and federal agents searched it for evidence. https://t.co/indPrq2SqJ pic.twitter.com/StUml7JQ63
— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) July 29, 2019
Police Chief Scot Smithee said Monday that the shooter legally purchased an “AK-47-type assault rifle” in Nevada on July 9th.
“And despite the fact that they were outgunned, with their handguns against a rifle, those three officers were able to fatally wound that suspect. And the event ended very quickly,” Smithee said Monday.
Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco praised police for their quick work in the face of danger.
“It takes remarkable bravery to run to a shooting, when the natural reaction for all of us is to run away,” Velasco said.
RAW VIDEO: Gilroy Police Chief Gives Monday AM Update On Shooting
The gunman armed with an assault-type rifle had evaded security at Christmas Hill Park by using “some sort of tool” to cut through a fence near a creek that borders a parking area, police said.
Officers on the scene shot and killed the suspect within one minute of the shooting, according to police.
Smithee said witnesses told authorities at least one other person may have been involved in the shooting but there was no confirmation of that or the role he or she might have played. He said a manhunt was underway for the possible accomplice.
“We have one suspect that we know is (dead), and some witnesses reporting there may be a second suspect, although we don’t know if a second suspect was engaged in any shooting, or in a support role,” Smithee told reporters Sunday night.
A second man was taken into custody after social media posts claiming to be involved with the shooting, but police determined he was not involved.
An intense search by ATF agents, officers from the San Jose Police Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department of a wooded area near the fair grounds continued in the early morning hours.
The FBI has also joined the investigation, with 30 agents collecting evidence from the scene, which stretches many acres.
Officials said the shooting had shattered the community.
“Yesterday afternoon, the City of Gilroy endured a tragedy that a very long night cannot erase,” Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco said at Monday morning’s press conference. “Mass gun violence is an epidemic in the United States and yet, one never imagines such a thing can happen here, in our beautiful community.”
Velasco went on to say that the people of Gilroy are strong and resilient. “We intend to come out of this horrible event as a stronger and closer community,” the mayor said.
Velasco has also declared a state of emergency for his community in the aftermath of the shooting.
Condolences were sent to the community from around the state and across the country.
In a tweet after the shooting, Gov. Gavin Newsom called the bloodshed “nothing short of horrific” and expressed appreciation for the police response.
“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,” Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted.
“We’re praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital, some very, very serious injuries. We thank the brave members of law enforcement, they never let us down, who swiftly killed the shooter,” President Donald Trump said at a bill signing on Monday.
7-Year-Old Survivor On The Shooting
Several of the wounded underwent surgery late Sunday and early Monday. A handful of others were treated and released. As of Monday afternoon, five remain hospitalized. Three are in serious or fair conditions and two said they didn’t want to share their status.
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said the hospital received seven gunshot wound victims in varying conditions — five came directly from the scene and two were transferred from another hospital. One was discharged Sunday evening.
The hospitalized victims ranged in age from 12-years-old to 69-years-old, Alexiou said Monday morning.
As of Monday, Alexiou said one of the patients had been discharged, while another was transferred to Stanford Medical Center.
Two patients remain at Stanford, none remain at St. Louise Regional Hospital and one male patient remains at San Jose Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Peter Coelho of St. Louise said in a press conference that the work of “community response heroes” helped tremendously in the hospitals’ urgent medical treatment.
Coelho said it was a “worst nightmare” event.
The merriment at the event — one of the nation’s most famous food festivals — ended when the shots rang out at around 5:30 p.m. during an encore by the band Tinman. They were the last musical act on stage as the three-day festival was winding down.
Singer Jack van Breen said he saw a man wearing a green shirt and grayish handkerchief around his neck fire into the food area with what looked like an assault rifle.
Van Breen and other members of the band dove under the stage. Van Breen told KPIX 5 he heard someone shout, “Why are you doing this?” He said the person responded, “Because I’m really angry.”
An attendee in the crowd captured video of Van Breen’s set when the shooting ensued. *WARNING: Possibly distressing footage*
#BREAKING: Video shows moment gunman opens fire on Gilroy garlic festival Sunday evening; 4 people killed (including suspected gunman), 15 others injured. [Warning: Potentially-distressing footage] #GilroyGarlicFestival #GilroyActiveshooter pic.twitter.com/Qiv7GW3j4V
— California Brief (@CaliforniaBrief) July 29, 2019
Shawn Viaggi was working near the stage. He said he heard loud pops and then saw bullets hitting the ground.
“I called out, ‘It’s a real gun, let’s get out of here,’” Viaggi, who hid under the stage with other members of the crew, told the San Jose Mercury News.
Chaos erupted all around the fair grounds as thousands of festival goers scrambled for cover.
Evenny Reyes was among those enjoying the day at the festival when the gunfire erupted around 5:30 p.m., turning the peaceful setting to a scene of utter chaos.
“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 told the San Jose Mercury News. “There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.”
“It started going for five minutes, maybe three,” she continued. “It was like the movies — everyone was crying, people were screaming.”
KPIX 5 spoke with Lex Delaherran, who said he may have been hit by shrapnel.
“What happened is I was standing there walking away, I was two minutes away from the stadium where the gunman was opening fire, and all of the sudden I looked at the skies because I’m thinking it’s fireworks, and then there were more shots to follow, and all of the sudden this unknown shrapnel came flying and it struck me in the top of my forehead,” Delaherran said.