A 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl, and a man in his early-twenties were killed in a shooting at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California Sunday evening. Another twelve people were injured by a suspect wielding an "assault-type" rifle.
"My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6," the 6-year-old's father told NBC Bay Area. "That’s all I can say."
Those wounded in the incident were taken by ambulance to local hospitals in the area with their conditions rated from fair to critical. Some of the injured required surgery Sunday. Five people were treated and released. Police initially said 15 people had been injured in the shooting, but officials later lowered that number to 12 early Monday morning.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said at a press conference late Sunday night that the shooter was "engaged" by officers less than a minute after shots first rang out.
"It's a nightmare you don't want to live," said Smithee.
Witnesses told police the suspect appeared to be dressed in what appeared to be a tactical vest and camouflage clothing and fired at random into the crowd more than a dozen times before pausing and then firing once again into the crowd. A second suspect was reportedly seen accompanying the gunman, but police say they're investigating those claims and have no identifying information on him or her, Smithee said.
"We have teams working to try to track down and identify leads regarding the second suspect," said Smithee.
The suspect was armed with an "assault-type" AK 47-style rifle that was purchased legally in the state of Nevada, police said.
Three officers engaged the suspect fatally wounding him, ending the shooting "very quickly" Smithee said.
"It appears it was somewhat random, the way he shot at people," Smithee said.
Authorities identified the shooter as Santino William Legan, 19. Investigators were spotted entering a home reportedly linked to Legan early Monday morning and seen leaving with several paper bags.
Police say the suspect managed to bypass security by cutting through a fence using some kind of tool. Festival-goers must pass through metal detectors and security before being allowed into the festival.
The incident was first reported Sunday evening around 5:40 p.m. as people were attending the Gilroy Garlic Festival, a three-day family event held every year for the past 40 years at Christmas Hill Park. The festival features food selections, cooking competitions, with many of those dishes made with garlic.
"This is nothing short of horrific,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote on Twitter. "Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community."
President Donald Trump told attendees to "Be careful and safe!" in a tweet responding to the shooting.
"The city of Gilroy is an incredible community, and we have incredible people here," said Smithee. "It takes literally thousands of our residents that volunteer their time to come put this on for people, and to raise funds for all of our community-based organizations and charities and whatnot, and you can't say that about a lot of communities."
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