The recent Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting shook the California city community to the core. The annual event draws crowds in excess of 100,000, with families flocking to the festival for a fun day out. Sadly, this year, a shooter opened fire on revelers. Among the three victims was 6-year-old Stephen Romero. According to ABC7 News, the child's grandmother has spoken out to pay tribute to her grandson. Marivel Romero was at home when she got the phone call that every family member dreads. The caller told her that Stephen had been shot.
The child was attending the festival with his mother and another grandmother when a gunman cut his way through a fence and began firing into the crowd. Romero desperately went to each hospital in the area before eventually finding the right one. By the time she got there, her grandson had already passed away. Marivel told reporters Stephen was "always kind, happy, and you know, playful." Clearly heartbroken by the unspeakable tragedy, Romero went on to confirm that Stephen's mother and grandmother were also shot. They're both recovering in hospital.
"It has to be someone really sick," Romero said when asked about the shooter. "Because shooting a kid...it's a family event. I just hope there is justice and they catch the last person or the other person and that there's justice. I want justice for my grandson." Sadly, the 6-year-old wasn't the only minor to perish. 13-year-old Keyla Salazar stayed behind to help her stepfather's disabled mother escape. As a result, she was fatally shot.
25-year-old New York resident Trevor Irby was also shot and killed while attending the festival with his girlfriend, who was not injured. 15 other people were injured during the panic and had to receive hospital treatment. Authorities responded quickly as the scene unfolded, shooting dead 19-year-old Santino William Legan when he turned his gun on them. It's currently not clear what his motives were, however, an Instagram post on his account suggests ties to white supremacy. Detectives are actively investigating to see if Legan worked alone.
The festival takes place every year in Gilroy, a city 80 miles away from San Francisco, dubbed "The Garlic Capital of the World." The community has come together to pay tribute to those affected by the shooting.