SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — During Monday’s Warriors game against the Memphis Grizzlies, a special group of survivors and their families cheered on the Dubs. The Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting victims also watched the pregame shootaround courtside. For many, this was their first ever game at Chase Center.
“Just kind of surreal, I think it’s a little intimidating to be in a crowded place, but it makes me feel safe knowing that we’re being escorted,” said shooting victim Gabriella Gaus of Santa Cruz.
Gaus was shot in the shoulder and grazed in the back as she ran for safety in the parking lot. Her recent surgery to remove bullet fragments from her body was successful.
Before the game, the group met with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. His father, Malcolm, was assassinated while serving as the president of the American University of Beirut. He took Republican senator Mitch McConnell to task over inaction on stricter gun laws.
“It’s a non-partisan issue, it’s a safety issue,” said Kerr during the pregame press conference. “The first thing that has to happen is that our government officials have to decide that the safety of our citizens is more important that the money they received from the NRA.”
Edward Lujan was a festival volunteer who rushed to help victims. He called Kerr a humbling person.
“Knowing his background, he kind of shared his story and why he’s such an advocate,” said Edward Lujan of Gilroy. “I can see why he’s very outspoken.”
The Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting left three dead and more than a dozen injured in July. Since then, some survivors have filed a lawsuit against the security company and the festival association for not securing the venue.
On Monday night, this group was a reminder of Gilroy’s strength, resiliency and pride.
“I don’t consider myself a survivor but we all are, as a town and as a nation,” said Lujan.