At least three people were killed and 12 injured after a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, according to authorities.
Shots were fired at the site as the festival drew to a close yesterday evening. An eyewitness told NBC there was “a white man in his early to mid-30s firing a rifle”.
Michael Paz, a vendor at the festival, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he saw a gunman armed with a rapid-fire assault rifle. “He came ready to shoot because he was wearing a protective vest,” Paz said. “He was shooting left; he was shooting right without any particular aim.”
Evenny Reyes, 13, told the San Jose Mercury News that at first she thought the sound of gunfire was fireworks.
“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot,” she said. “There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.”
The Gilroy Police Department said on Twitter: “The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival.”
The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, said that his office was monitoring the situation closely. “This is nothing short of horrific,” Newsom said.
US President Donald Trump also tweeted about the shooting, urging people to “be careful and safe”.
Gilroy has a population of about 57,000 people, and is widely known for its garlic production and processing.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been held every year since 1979. Christmas Hill Park, where the event was taking place, bans weapons of any kind.
Video posted on social media showed people running away from the scene. “What’s going on?” a woman’s voice asks in one video. “Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?”