At least three people have been killed, including a six-year-old boy, and 15 others injured during a shooting at a food festival in California.
Local authorities also confirmed the suspect was also shot and killed by police shortly after opening fire at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.
However, according to reports, police are investigating reports that there could still be a second shooter at large.
Among those killed was Stephen Romero, six. Speaking to NBC, his father Alberto Romero said: “I don’t know what to say. He had his whole life in front of him. He was only six.”
The shooting took place on the final day of the festival, just 30 miles south of San Jose, sending people into a frenzy, screaming as they tried to escape the carnage.
Fortunately, police were already on site when the shooting started and were able to respond within a minute.
Gilroy Police captain Scot Smithee, confirmed that more than a dozen people had also been injured in the attack, which took place at 5.40pm yesterday evening.
He said: “We have at least 15 people injured. Four fatalities, including the suspect.”
At least three people have been killed in a shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival. Credit: PA
Videos posted in social media, show crowds of terrified festival-goers running from the scene and hiding behind tents, while eye-witnesses say they saw people climbing over fences to getaway.
A spokesperson from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center said six people were taken to St. Louise Regional Hospital, while another five were transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center – all suffering from gunshot wounds.
According to police, it’s believed the shooter gained access to the festival by cutting through a perimeter fence.
Shortly after the tragic incident took place, Gilroy Police Department offered their condolences to the families affected by the shooting.
In a tweet, the force said: “The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival. The scene is still active. If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B.”
At a news conference yesterday, Brian Bowe, the festival’s executive director. , said: “We couldn’t feel worse. It’s just a horrible thing to experience.”
Police managed to shoot the suspect. Credit: PA
The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, also expressed his sympathies. He said: “This is nothing short of horrific. Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community. My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops.”
Gilroy Police have also opened a special emergency hotline and are urging people who may have any information about the shocking incident, to come forward.
They said: “Witness line and family reunification line: 408-846-0583. If you saw something today please call that number immediately.
“Please keep the main GPD line for emergencies only.”