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Gilroy shooting - live: Police hunt for second suspect as gunman kills three at California garlic festival

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Adam Withnall,Emma Snaith
Monday 29 July 2019 08:21
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Gunfire audible in shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival

A gunman has opened fire on the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, killing at least three people and injuring around a dozen others, before being shot dead by police.

Witnesses described scenes of panic and chaos as a man carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle targeted festival-goers in a food area.

Gilroy's police chief says the suspect cut through a fence to access the festival and that a second suspect may have assisted him. A manhunt is underway for the second suspect, he said.

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Welcome to The Independent's live blog of a shooting incident at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.

Adam Withnall29 July 2019 06:51
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A gunman who opened fire on the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, killing at least three people and injuring around a dozen others, has been shot dead by police.

As videos from the scene showed thousands fleeing and gunshots ringing out, Gilroy's police chief said the suspect had cut through a fence to access the festival.

The gunman was confronted and killed by officers less than a minute after he opened fire, Scot Smithee said.  

Police are hunting for a second suspect who may have assisted the shooter, Smithee said. It is not certain at this stage whether the second suspect also opened fire.

Adam Withnall29 July 2019 07:06
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Singer Jack van Breen said his band Tin Man was just starting an encore when the first shots rang out. 

He said he saw a man wearing a green shirt and greyish handkerchief around his neck fire into the food area with what looked like an assault rifle. 

Van Breen and other members of the band dove under the stage, he told the Associated Press. He said he heard someone shout: "Why are you doing this? "and the reply: "because I'm really angry." 

Adam Withnall29 July 2019 07:07
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One witness, Evenny Reyes, said she and others didn't run at first because the gunshots sounded like fireworks. "It was like the movies — everyone was crying, people were screaming," she said.

Todd Jones, a sound engineer, told the Mercury News that he was at the front of the festival's Vineyard stage when he heard what sounded like a firework.

"But then it started to increase, more rapidly, which sounded more like gunfire, and at that point people realised what was happening," Jones said.

The festival is a nationally famous three-day event that attracts upwards of 100,000 garlic enthusiasts from across the country. Sunday was the last day of festivities.

Gilroy is about 30 miles south of San Jose and is known as the “garlic capital of the world". 

Adam Withnall29 July 2019 07:07
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Agents from federal agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene and responding to the shooting.

The Gilroy Police Department issued a statement on Twitter urging people who had become separated from loved ones in the chaos to meet at a nearby college car park.

"The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today's shooting at the Garlic Festival," the statement read.

Adam Withnall29 July 2019 07:07
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Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting last night.

emma.snaith29 July 2019 07:25
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A video posted on Twitter at about 5.30pm local time shows people running away in fear at the festival.

"What's going on?" a person can be heard asking in the video. "Who shoots up a garlic festival?"

emma.snaith29 July 2019 07:38
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According to local media reports, four people are now confirmed dead, including one suspect, with at least 15 injured. 

emma.snaith29 July 2019 07:55
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Television station NBC11 reported a six-year-old boy, Steven Romero, was among the dead, and his mother and grandmother had received non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

emma.snaith29 July 2019 07:55
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emma.snaith29 July 2019 08:11

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