GILROY, Calif. (CBS/CBS News/AP) — U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) was in attendance at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California when a gunman opened fire this past weekend.
Lipinski said Monday that he and his wife, Judy, are fine – though he described a horrific scene on Sunday.
“The shooter was not far from us as we heard the loud ‘pops,’ which seemed to get closer as we ran,” Lipinski said in a statement. “We are very thankful to law enforcement. The tragedy would have been far worse if not for their quick action. Also, the festival staff did a great job in the aftermath.”
Last night was frightening. I thank Gilroy’s law enforcement for their quick action and the Garlic Festival’s staff for the tremendous job they did in the aftermath. My wife and I are ok. We pray for those killed and injured and for their families. pic.twitter.com/arPdHiKAT5
— Rep. Daniel Lipinski (@RepLipinski) July 29, 2019
“Judy and I are okay. Thank God,” Lipinski said in the statement. “We pray for those killed and injured, and their families.”
Lipinski also decried gun violence across the country and said something needs to be done.
“The level of gun violence in our nation is sickening,” Lipinski said in the statement. “It is an issue we must deal with not only legislatively, but spiritually and socially.”
A young boy, a teenage girl, and a young man were killed in the shooting, which left a dozen others injured, police said Monday.
The deceased victims were identified as 6-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero of San Jose, 13-year-old Keyla Salazar and Trevor Irby, who the police said was in his 20s. The medical examiner’s office identified Romero overnight, and Irby was identified Monday by the president of his alma mater, Keuka College in upstate New York.
Stephen was at the garlic festival with his mother and grandmother, who were treated for gunshot wounds at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. His mother was reportedly shot in the stomach and hand, and his grandmother in the leg.
CBS News’ Janet Shamlian spoke with the boy’s father outside the hospital Monday. He wasn’t ready to say much, but did call it the worst day of his life.
Irby studied biology at Keuka College, located about 55 miles southeast of Rochester, New York, and graduated in 2017, the school’s president, Amy Storey, said in a statement. Irby was at the garlic festival with another graduate of the school who was not injured in the shooting, Storey said.
“Anytime a life is lost it’s a tragedy, and when it’s young people it’s even worse, and it’s very difficult,” Smithee told reporters. “… It seems that this was a random act, but, again, we’ve got a long way to go before we can come to a determination what his motivation was.”
Smithee confirmed the gunman has been identified as Santino William Legan, 19. The police chief said investigators haven’t found a motive for the shooting.
The chief said the gunman was armed with a rifle and crossed over a creek to get inside the Gilroy Garlic Festival, avoiding metal detectors and bag checks.
Smithee told reporters in a late-night briefing that Gilroy officers engaged the gunman within a minute of shots ringing out and killed him.
Smithee had also 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. At Monday’s news conference, Smithee said authorities don’t have any confirmation that a “potential second suspect” opened fire and all leads into who that person may be were being investigated.
“We’ve gotten multiple reports that there may have been another person with him, that they ran this way or they ran that way, but different people gave different versions, so we really don’t know at this point,” Smithee said.
The FBI was among numerous law enforcement agencies assisting Gilroy police, who were leading the investigation. Smithee said overnight 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.
Witnesses told CBS News 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,” Smithee 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.
The band Tin Man was doing an encore when gunfire erupted, CBS San Francisco reports.
Singer Jack van Breen said he saw a man wearing a green shirt and grayish handkerchief around his neck fire into the food area with what appeared to be an assault rifle.
Van Breen and other members of the band dove under the stage.
Van Breen told the station he heard someone shout, “Why are you doing this?” The person responded, “Because I’m really angry.”
A festival attendee captured video of the band’s set when the shooting began.
#BREAKING: Video shows moment gunman opens fire on Gilroy garlic festival Sunday evening; 4 people killed (including suspected gunman), 15 others injured. [Warning: Potentially-distressing footage] #GilroyGarlicFestival #GilroyActiveshooter pic.twitter.com/Qiv7GW3j4V
— California Brief (@CaliforniaBrief) July 29, 2019
Gilroy, a city of 50,000 some 80 miles southeast of San Francisco, is known as “The Garlic Capital of the World.”
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CBS News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)