Mass Shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival

UPDATE: The deceased gunman in Sunday’s mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival has been identified as Santino William Legan.

July 29, 2019 A mass shooting at a food festival in Northern California Sunday evening left 3 people dead, including a 6 year old boy and 13 year old girl. Police confirm they shot and killed a gunman, and are investigating reports of a possible second suspect.  At least twelve shooting victims were transported to area hospitals.

Law enforcement officials in Gilroy confirmed Monday morning the dead gunman has been identified but that information has not been released to the public. A motive for the shooting has not been determined.


Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said during a press conference late Sunday night that the area around Christmas Hill Park, where the festival was held is still being searched by law enforcement as “witnesses indicated there may have been a second suspect.” Smithee said it’s not known if the second suspect is armed.

Description of the Gunman

Eyewitnesses described the gunman as a Caucasian male in his 30s, under 6 ft. tall wearing tactical gear and a baseball cap. He was wearing sunglasses and he had a semi-automatic rifle.

One witness, Ryan Wallace, who was working as a vendor at the festival, told NBC Bay Area  the shooter walked up wearing military-style clothing, including a tactical vest, cargo pants and boots, looking “ready to do some damage.”

“He just rose his gun up and started spraying out rounds all around.”

Shots rang out in the middle of the band TinMan was performing the song “We’re an American Band.” 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 said he heard someone shout: “Why are you doing this?” and the reply: “Because I’m really angry.”

The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been a local tradition 41 years. The annual three day festival attracts more than 100,000 people to the city known as the “Garlic Capital of the World.”


Gilroy Police Chief said they believe the gunman entered the festival via a creek bordering the parking area. The gunman and possibly a second suspect used some kind of tool to cut through the secure fence-line. Gilroy Councilwoman Cat Tucker said all guests entered through security checks. Tucker said it was the first year such measures were taken, in part because of other shootings around the country.

Gilroy Police are asking that witnesses or anyone with information about the shooter please contact the Gilroy Police Department at 408-846-0583.

Sunday evening’s mass shooting in Gilroy, California is one of two mass shootings in as many days. A mass shooting at a local music and arts event in New York City Saturday night left one man dead and eleven others injured. NYPD said shooting took place at the annual “old timers week” event near Brownsville Playground in Brooklyn at the intersection of Christopher and Hegeman Avenues. Police are searching for two suspects and are asking anyone with information or cellphone video to come forward. Gang activity may have been the motive for the shooting  One gun was recovered.