California garlic festival shooting: police confirm casualties

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Social media footage shows people fleeing Gilroy garlic festival with popping sounds audible on footage

Reuters

An active shooter opened fire at a food festival in California on Sunday and a police spokesman said there were casualties.

Few other details were immediately available, but local councilman Dion Bracco told the New York Times that three people had been killed.

NBC Bay Area reported that ambulance crews were told 11 people “were down” after shots rang out on the last day of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual three-day event south of San Jose.

Videos posted on social media appeared to show festival attendees scattering in confusion as at least one loud popping sound could be heard in the background.

“What’s going on?” a woman can be heard asking on one video. “Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?”

Evenny Reyes, 13, told the San Jose Mercury News that at first she thought the sound of gunfire was fireworks. But then she saw someone with a wounded leg.

“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot,” Reyes told the newspaper. “There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.”

Founded in 1979, the Gilroy Garlic Festival features food, drink, live entertainment and cooking competitions. It says it is hosted by volunteers and describes itself as the world’s greatest summer food festival.

It was being held at the outdoor Christmas Hill Park, where weapons of any kind are prohibited, according to the event’s website.

Festival officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gilroy is about 30 miles (48 km) south of San Jose.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates

 

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