San Jose

Six-Year-Old Boy is Among Those Killed in Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

Four people, including the guman, are dead following the attack at the family event south of San Jose

What to Know

  • A 6-year-old boy is among three victims killed by a gunman who opened fire Sunday in Gilroy
  • The boy was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival with his mother and grandmother, both of whom were injured in the shooting
  • The family events is a decades-old staple of the Gilroy community featuring food, cooking contests and music

A 6-year-old boy was one of the three people killed when a gunman opened fire Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, a family event southeast of San Jose that he attended with his mother and grandmother.

Alberto Romero told NBC Bay Area that his son Stephen was killed. Romero expressed his grief outside a hospital, where his wife and the boy's grandmother were being treated for injuries suffered in the attack.

"My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6," his father Alberto Romero told NBC Bay Area. "That's all I can say."

Alberto Romero, who was home with his 9-year-old daughter at the time of the shooting, said his son had just celebrated his sixth birthday at LEGOLAND California Theme Park.

Three people were killed and 12 others injured in the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, authorities said. A 13-year-old girl and man in his 20s were the other victims who were fatally shot, police said Monday.

One of those killed was identified as recent college graduate Trevor Irby, who was in his 20s, authorities and family said.

Keuka College said Irby was a biology major who graduated in 2017 from the school in upstate New York.

"Any time a life is lost, it's a tragedy," said Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee. "But when it's young people, it's even worse."

The shooter also is dead. Authorities say he used a rifle and gained entry to the packed festival by cutting through a fence to avoid the tight security, including metal detectors, police said.

The wounded were taken to multiple hospitals, and their conditions ranged from fair to critical, with some in surgery Sunday night. At least five were treated and released.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival features food, cooking contests and music. It's a decades-old staple in the agricultural city of 50,000 about 80 miles southeast of San Francisco. Security is tight -- festival-goers pass through metal detectors and their bags are searched.

On Sunday, the band TinMan was starting an encore with the song "We're an American Band" when the shooting started.

Singer Jack van Breen said he saw a man wearing a green shirt and grayish 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.

Van Breen, from nearby Santa Clara, said he heard someone shout: "Why are you doing this?" and the reply: "Because I'm really angry."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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