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Update On Shooting At Gilroy Garlic Festival

Jul 29, 2019
Originally published on July 29, 2019 1:26 pm
Copyright 2019 KQED. To see more, visit KQED.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep with a moment from the Gilroy Garlic Festival over the weekend. People were attending this summer food event in California, and Christian Swain of the band TinMan was onstage performing.

CHRISTIAN SWAIN: I mean, how many times do we have to go through this? You know, I see this little kid's face now, you know, across the Internet. You know, how many kids have to die in this senseless, you know, individual violence with a gun who, you know, is just out to kill as many people as he possibly could?

INSKEEP: Mr. Swain describes completing an encore when they heard the first couple of shots, he said several quick shots. He thought they were firecrackers, and then he learned otherwise. That's the beginning of the story, and Rachael Myrow of KQED is in Gilroy, Calif., to help us complete that story. Rachel, what happened after that moment on stage when Swain began hearing the gunshots?

RACHAEL MYROW, BYLINE: Well, Steve, the speed of how this story has evolved is just breathtaking to behold. Police say that they were able to subdue the shooter. One witness reported seeing that person shot in the head within a minute, one minute. And yet, already from what we know this morning, three people are dead, including a 6-year-old boy.

We've had police agencies from San Jose Police Department, from the Santa Clara County sheriff's office came in overnight to help search for what is believed to be a second suspect, although we don't know if that suspect was involved in the shooting.

There are reports of the name of the first suspect who was killed last night, but we're still determining whether that is something that has been officially confirmed and also what the potential motive might be. There's a lot of stuff on Twitter, as you can imagine, including a lot of people who are expressing shock, disbelief that anyone would want to harm both the people involved and the institution involved.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been around for something like 40 years. But then again, you know, who's to say that it's any more horrific than the shootings that we have seen in this country...

INSKEEP: Yeah.

MYROW: ...At places like kindergartens and, you know, rock concerts?

INSKEEP: Now I want to mention, Rachel, that you're outside the police headquarters in Gilroy. We're expecting a briefing shortly. And what you said points to things we want to know. Who was the shooter - that's one thing. You mentioned a possible second suspect, but also the possibility this is more of a person of interest. We don't know that this is someone directly involved with the killings, so we don't know if this was some kind of planned event involving more than one person. We just know they're looking for another person. What other questions...

MYROW: Exactly.

INSKEEP: ...Are on authorities' minds?

MYROW: Well, you know, one of the things is that question of motive. So is this going to be something where we find out that this was, you know, part of an alt-right conspiracy? Or was it one or two or more individuals were are just acting on their own? That's just something we're going to have to find out from police and from FBI investigators who are here to help them figure out what's going on.

INSKEEP: So in that less than a minute, three people killed, 15 people wounded. Testimony - tragic testimony to the power of the weapon in that person's hand.

MYROW: Yes, indeed.

INSKEEP: Rachel, thanks so much.

MYROW: Thank you.

INSKEEP: That's Rachael Myrow of our member station KQED. She's at police headquarters in Gilroy, Calif., where we expect to learn more shortly about the weekend's mass shooting. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.