The Gilroy, California Garlic Festival was ripped apart Sunday evening after gunfire erupted. The result was yet another mass shooting.
As of this writing, information is still limited, but here’s what’s currently being reported:
Four people including a suspect are dead and 15 others wounded after at least one gunman opened fire Sunday evening during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, authorities said. Hundreds of people were sent scrambling for safety, CBS San Francisco reports.
The dead include six-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero, of San Jose, authorities said.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee told reporters in a late-night briefing that Gilroy officers engaged a suspect within a minute of shots ringing out and killed him.
Smithee said witnesses told authorities at least one other person may have been involved in the shooting but there was no confirmation of that or the role he or she might have played. He said a search was underway for the possible accomplice.
Federal law enforcement sources told CBS News the FBI was among numerous law enforcement agencies at the scene assisting Gilroy police, who were leading the investigation.
Smithee said the suspect or suspects appeared to have cut through a wire fence at a creek bordering the festival grounds to bypass heavy security to gain access.
There was no early word on a possible motive. Witnesses told CBS San Francisco the gunman appeared to be firing at random. Some witnesses said he suddenly appeared from behind a stage before beginning to shoot.
“It’s just incredibly sad and disheartening that an event that does so much good for our community has to suffer from a tragedy like this,” Smitee added.
The shooting happened on the last day of the annual three-day festival. It features food, cooking competitions and music and attracts more than 100,000 people, The Associated Press notes.
Gilroy is a city of 50,000 some 80 miles southeast of San Francisco.
Of course, this information is preliminary. It’s late at night in California as I write this, so I don’t know how much is actually being updated. There’s always a chance for the death toll to increase.
However, since the usual suspects are already making this about gun control, here are a few things that we do know.
One, this was a gun-free zone. There was even security in place to make sure that it stayed a gun-free zone. Yet at least one person bypassed that security in a way that pretty much anyone could and gained entry with their firearm. Clearly, the whole “gun-free zone” thing didn’t work here.
Second, while anti-gunners are going on about gun control, let’s keep in mind that this is California. This is the most anti-gun state in the country. This is a state that doesn’t seem to dislike any anti-gun proposal. Yet if gun control works so well, then just how in the hell did this happen?
The truth of the matter is that right now, we don’t know anything. We don’t know who the shooter was, how many shooters (some say there were two, after all), or anything like that, much less how they got their gun or even what kind of gun, though early reports are that it was some kind of “assault rifle.” We simply don’t know much of anything right now.
Yet there will invariably be those who want to jump on the gun control wagon right away. They’ll use this to advance their pet proposals and tell us all about how their measures will fix this, but we still don’t even know all that much. Without those facts, how can we even begin to discuss anything rationally?
Then again, that’s probably the point.