GILROY, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Organizers of the Gilroy Garlic Festival have released a statement addressing the mass shooting at the event on Sunday that left 3 people dead, including an six-year-old boy and a thirteen-year-old girl.
Along with the dead, fifteen people were injured in the shooting but it was not immediately clear if they were injured in the stampede or by gunfire, police said. One person is listed in critical condition, according to Reuters.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association and the entire community of Gilroy are devastated by the shooting yesterday afternoon on the last day of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and everyone affected by this horrific event. We are offering any and all resources available to support our community and law enforcement. We ask for your prayers and understanding at this incredibly difficult time.
At a press conference Sunday evening, Brian Bowe, Executive Director of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, said, “Gilroy is an amazing, tightly-knit community. We are family. We have had the wonderful opportunity in this community to celebrate our family through our Garlic Festival, and for over four decades that festival has been our annual family reunion. It’s such a sad, just horribly upsetting circumstance that this happened on the third and final day of this year’s festival,” Bowe told reporters.
Shawn Keck, President of the 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival, spoke in support of the more than 4,000 volunteers who worked to organize and host the annual festival. “We are heartbroken that senseless violence brought this year’s festival to such a terrible and tragic end. We are truly grateful to the Gilroy Police Department, who responded immediately to prevent further loss of life, and to the hundreds of other first responders from regional and federal agencies who have provided additional support. We are also thankful for the thoughts and prayers and outpouring of support from people all over the world.”
If you are a witness with information about the shooting, please call the witness hotline at 408-846-0583. If you are seeking information about a loved one, please call the reunification hotline at 408-846-0584. A media line has also been established by the Gilroy Police Department at 408-842-0432.
Police have identified a 19-year-old local resident as a suspect in the shooting, but, according to the Los Angeles Times, investigators are still seeking a motive for the attack.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said late Sunday that the alleged gunman was able to circumvent festival security by entering from an adjacent creek area and cutting through a perimeter fence, the Times reported. Witness reports that a second assailant may have been involved are still under investigation.