Updated Monday 5:08 p.m.
Police said a shooter who opened fire on a crowd at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, killing three people — including a 6-year-old boy and a 13-year-old-girl — legally bought his weapon in Nevada in early July.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee identified the suspected shooter as Santino William Legan, 19, of Gilroy. Smithee said the suspect used an SKS, an assault-type rifle purchased July 9 in Nevada.
Witnesses reported a second suspect, but it was unclear whether that person opened fire, Smithee said. The suspect or suspects appeared to have come into the festival through a nearby creek, cutting through a fence to access the event, Smithee said, to avoid security checkpoints.
One suspect opened fire and officers on scene at the festival responded in less than a minute, said Smithee. The suspect, who appeared to shoot at random, was shot and killed.
"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.
The FBI said it was investigating a motive for the attack, which was unclear, as well as the suspect's possible ideology or affiliation with any groups.
Family members and authorities began to release the names of the three people killed on Monday:
- Keyla Salazar, 13, of San Jose
- Stephen Romero, 6, of San Jose
- Trevor Irby, in his 20s, hometown unknown
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner/Coroner's Office confirmed the deaths of Salazar and Romero. Amy Storey, president of Keuka College in upstate New York, said Monday in a statement that Trevor Irby, a biology major who graduated in 2017, was among the Gilroy victims.
"My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6," his father, Alberto Romero, told NBC Bay Area. "That's all I can say."
About 20 people were treated at area hospitals, including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, St. Louise Regional Hospital and Stanford Medical Center, where their conditions ranged from fair to critical, hospital spokespeople said. Many had been released by Monday morning.
'We Were All in Danger'
Witnesses reported confusion and panic as shots rang out around 5:40 p.m. at the festival, an annual family-friendly celebration of food and music that attracts around 100,000 people.
The band Tin Man was starting an encore when shots rang out.
"I was by the cook-off stage and it sounded like fireworks. You heard a little pop, pop and people just started yelling 'run, run, run,'" said Mark Guajardo, a Gilroy resident and bar manager. "We didn't know what was happening or where it was coming from."
Francisco Cruz remembered being next to the music stage when he heard a "bang."
Cruz said he was with about 20 family members, including some who were visiting from Mexico for his wedding last week, and he brought them to Gilroy to enjoy the festival.
“I saw this guy dressed up,” Cruz said. “I thought he was a sheriff because he was wearing a brown vest with the green pants and the hat.”
He recalled thinking the bullet was an accidental shot.
“But then when I saw him picking up the gun, and reloading the gun, that's when I knew what it was,” he said. “We were all in danger.”
Cruz grabbed his kids and started running.
“After we all took cover, the police got the guy and that's when we started looking for everybody,” he said.
His brother, sister and nieces were safe, but he found his cousin taking cover in nearby trees with a gunshot wound. She is being treated at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
“It's a nightmare. It's something we're never gonna forget,” Cruz said, speaking at the hospital. “I just wanted to show them the beautiful side of California.”
Video posted on social media showed people running for safety at the festival.