6-Year-Old Among Three Killed in Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

Police stay focused on a target after a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Calif., Sunday, July 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A six-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s were killed during a shooting rampage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California on Sunday, according to authorities.

The youngest victim, Stephen Romero, had just celebrated his sixth birthday last month at Legoland in California, his father, Alberto Romero, told NBC Bay Area on Sunday evening.

“My son had his whole life to live and he was only six. That’s all I can say,” Romero said.

The shooting happened at about 5:40 p.m. local time Sunday at the bustling food festival, one of the largest in the country. In total, three people were killed and 15 injured.

Authorities on Monday released the ages of the other two victims, but said they were withholding their names pending notification of their relatives. They said they did not yet know the motive of the shooting.

In a press conference, Gilroy police chief Scot Smithee held back tears describing how the shooting “could have gone so much worse, so fast” had it not been for police officers, who were stationed throughout the festival, quickly moving to fatally shoot the suspect when he opened fire.

Still, Smithee said later, choking up again, “any time a life is lost, it’s a tragedy, but when it’s young people, it’s even worse.”

“It’s very difficult,” Smithee said, adding that it appeared the shots were fired randomly.

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Source: NBC News