The garlic festival turns into tragedy. Gunshots against the crowd during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, a gastronomic event that attracts tens of thousands of people every year: at least four dead, including the killer and a child of three, and 15 wounded.
The videos posted on Twitter show panic scenes, with people fleeing hearing gunfire in the background. The information on the incident is still unclear. Some local media speak of two suspects, one dead and one on the run. The witness Julissa Contrera speaks of a white man in his 30s, in possession of a semiautomatic weapon. “He had a rifle, he shot in all directions. He was able to fire three or four shots per second,” says Contrera to NBC. “He was prepared for the gesture,” he adds.
According to other witnesses, the alleged bomber was dressed in military attire, with flak jacket and military-style trousers. “It seemed like he wanted to kill as many people as possible,” another witness reported. “The police are at the scene of the shooting in Gilroy, California. Be careful!” tweeted the American president, Donald Trump, shortly after the rumours about the shooting started bouncing on social media.
When asked why he was firing on the crowd, the killer replied “because I am very angry”, said Jack van Breen, the singer of the Tin Man group who was about to perform at the festival, stating that the man was wearing a green shirt and a handkerchief around the neck.
CNN reports a rifle and ammunition found at the crime scene. The shooting took place on the final day of the festival. The Gilmroy Garlic is an annual event that revolves around garlic, of which Gilmroy is an important producer. Marie Blankley, the mayor of Gilmroy, speaks of a “tragedy”.
“It’s horrible” tweeted the governor of California, Gavin Newsom. Kamala Harris, the democratic senator candidate for the White House, also expresses her closeness to the California citizen. “In our country there is an epidemic of violence with firearms that we cannot tolerate,” he says. In fact, the incident reopens the arms debate in the United States, with the shooting in California, one of the US states with the strictest arms laws.