Deaths reported at food festival shooting in California

Three people have been reported dead and 12 others injured after a shooting at an annual food festival in Northern California.

Gilroy Councilman Dion Bracco told The Associated Press those are preliminary figures following Sunday’s shooting.

Witnesses reported confusion and panic as shots rang out at the festival in the city of 50,000 located about 176km southeast of San Francisco.

The shooting occurred during the annual garlic festival, a three-day celebration featuring food, cooking competitions and music that attracts more than 100,000 people. Sunday was the final day of this year’s event.

Earlier, a spokeswoman for Stanford Medical Center said they have two patients there being treated from the shooting. Julie Greicius said she has no details on their injuries or conditions.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center received five victims, spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said. She also had no information on their conditions.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump sent a tweet saying: “Law Enforcement is at the scene of shootings in Gilroy, California. Reports are that shooter has not yet been apprehended. Be careful and safe!”

The incident took place about 5:30 pm local time (around 0030 GMT on Monday). 

NBC Bay Area reported that ambulance crews were told that several people “were down” after shots rang out at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual event south of San Jose.

Evenny Reyes of Gilroy, 13, told a local newspaper that she spent the day at the festival with her friends and relatives.

“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot. And there were people on the ground, crying,” Reyes said. “There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.”

Reyes said that she did not run at first because the gunshots sounded like fireworks.

“It started going for five minutes, maybe three. It was like the movies — everyone was crying, people were screaming.”

Videos posted on social media appeared to show festival attendees scattering in confusion as at least one loud popping sound could be heard in the background.

“What’s going on?” a woman can be heard asking on one video. “Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?”

Founded in 1979, the three-day festival features food, drink, live entertainment and cooking competitions.

It says it is hosted by volunteers and describes itself as the world’s greatest summer food festival.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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