Shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival Leaves Four Dead, Including Suspect

This is horrifying.

Written by Lauren Laffer
Shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival Leaves Four Dead, Including Suspect
People and police gather near the scene of the deadly Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in Gilroy, California on July 28, 2019. - Three people were killed and at least 15 others injured in a shooting at a major food festival in California, police said. Officers confronted and shot dead the suspect "in less than a minute," said Scot Smithee, police chief of the city of Gilroy, 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Jose. (Photo by Philip Pacheco / AFP) (Photo credit should read PHILIP PACHECO/AFP/Getty Images)

Update as of Monday, July 29, 2019 at 12:56 p.m.:

Police have revealed that the three victims include six-year-old Stephen Romero, as well as a 13-year-old girl and a male in his mid-20s.

In a press conference, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee praised first responders for their quick action at the scene, being onsite in less than one minute.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the officers for being able to engage this guy as quickly as they did because we had thousands of people there in a very small area,” Smithee said. “You know, it could have gone so much worse so fast.”

Smithee also shared that the bureau does not have confirmation about a second suspect, but they are “investigating all leads to try to determine who that potential second suspect is and what exactly that person’s role was.”

He confirmed that the shooter was fatally wounded by police officers. They found an “AK-47 type assault rifle” that was legally purchased in Nevada earlier this year.


At least three victims were killed and 12 more injured at a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Southern California on Sunday afternoon (7/28). Located about 30 miles from San Jose, the festival was in its third and final day when a gunman took aim at unsuspecting festival-goers.

According to CNN, the main suspect in the shooting, identified as 19-year-old Santino William Legan, has been shot and killed by police, but authorities are investigating the possibility of a second suspect. The motive for the shooting has not yet been released by local authorities.

One of the victims shot and killed was six-year-old Stephen Romero, who family describe as “kind,” “happy” and a “loving boy.” The boy’s mother and grandmother were also shot in the incident and have been hospitalized, CNN reports.

The shooting began at approximately 5:30 p.m. PST, about 30 minutes before the close of the festival. Many witnesses recall seeing a white male enter the festival with an automatic rifle, taking aim at anyone nearby. The man was dressed in tactical gear and had clearly planned out his attack.

President Trump tweeted about the incident, urging people to be “careful and safe.”

As news continues to pour out of Gilroy, California into Monday morning (7/29), many 2020 Democrat Presidential candidates began to react to the news.

“This violence is not normal. How many more families will have to lose a loved one before we fix our broken gun laws? We must take action, starting with real reform,” wrote former Vice President Joe Biden. “Our thoughts are with everyone in Gilroy this evening. Enough is enough.”

Added Bernie Sanders, “This is sickening to wake up to. Our corrupt political system, which is controlled by the gun lobby, has a lot of waking up to do. When our children are being shot in places that should be safest, we’re failing. Let’s get serious about gun control.”

The news of the shooting hit close to country fans as several budding acts performed earlier in the day. Caylee Hammack, Waterloo Revival and King Calaway, as well as their teams and local radio personnel.

“WE ARE OKAY! We left right before all this must’ve happened and we are okay. @waterloorevival @kingcalaway and us all played today but we believe are all safe and away from the festival now. This makes me sick. There was so many smiling faces today, just enjoying the beautiful day together. My heart and prayers go out to the 11 injured,” Hammack posted to Instagram after the news broke.

According to Country Aircheck, performances had ended at 3 p.m. and staffers and the country teams had left the festival grounds.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival dates back to 1979 and is an annual festival held at the Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. CNN reports that the festival sees approximately 100,000 people annually.