At least one gunman opened fire at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m., with initial reports claiming that there have been 11 victims of the mass shooting, according to a report by local NBC News affiliate KNTV. Gilroy is located about 30 miles south of San Jose, California, and is known for its agricultural production of garlic, and the annual Garlic Festival which is one of the country’s largest food festivals.
At least three people were killed in the shooting with another 12 injured, Gilroy City Council member Dian Bracco said, as quoted by The New York Times.
One gunman was described as a white male in his 20s, according to a report by BNO News. An unconfirmed report from a local firefighter posted via Twitter said that the shooter, who remained at large, was wearing “camo” clothing.
“I watched him walk up, he raised his gun and started spraying rounds all around,” witness Ryan Walace told NBC News, in a quote posted via Twitter. “He was walking like he wanted to get stuff done. It was horrifying. He was ready to do some damage.”
One law enforcement official said that a shooter remained at large more than a full hour after the shooting incident began at about 5:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.
Details of the shooting remained hard to come by by 7 p.m. on Sunday. When a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News called the Gilroy Police Department, a dispatcher “said an inquiry about the reports was ‘inappropriate’ and sent a caller to voicemail.” But the Mercury News reported that police were on the scene.
“A dozen ambulance and fire department units,” responded the the shooting report, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, which also reported that private ambulances were being told not to respond to the shooting because they “lacked tactical gear” — which suggested that the shooter was still active as of 6:49 p.m., according to the publication.
One witness, Maximo Rocha, told NBC News that he “saw many people on the ground,” but was unsure how many of those individuals were shooting victims, and how many had simply hit the ground to take cover as the bullets flew.
But Rocha told NBC News that he had personal knowledge of “quite a few” shooting victims, because he helped those individuals.
The shooting took place on the festival’s third and final day at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, according to local Fox affiliate KTVU.
A live stream of local news coverage of the shootings aftermath is available online from BNO News.
Unconfirmed reports posted via Twitter at about 7:05 p.m. claimed that the shooter remained active, and that there may have been more than one gunman involved in the shooting, with one shooter “down.” A video posted to YouTube appeared to show at lease one bloodied, wounded victim of the shooting.
Even the New York Police Department said that it was “closely monitoring” the incident, in the event that the shooting was an act of political terrorism.
We are closely monitoring reports of an active shooter incident at a festival in Gilroy, California. pic.twitter.com/Go9c6cls10— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) July 29, 2019
The population of Gilroy is more than 60 percent Hispanic, according to The Statistical Atlas. Nearly 25 percent of the Gilroy population was born outside of the United States, with the majority of those born in Latin America. About 15 percent are not U.S. citizens, according to World Population Review.