Witnesses say the gunman sprayed the crowd with bullets. Authorities are searching for a motive and a possible 2nd suspect

Posted at 9:09 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 11:09:45-04

The man who police say shot and killed three people, including a 6-year-old boy, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival Sunday evening, has been identified, law enforcement officials said Monday.

Another 12 people were injured when the gunman opened fire on the crowds attending the outdoor festivalaround 5:40 p.m. local time, according to Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee. The gunman was killed by police on the scene, authorities said.

What officials say about the shooter

The deceased shooter had an assault-style rifle and appeared to shoot at random, Smithee said. Officers on the scene shot and killed the suspect within one minute of the shooting, according to police.

Investigators do know the identity of the shooter, though they have not yet made the information public, a law enforcement source said Monday morning.

Witnesses reported seeing a second individual who has not yet been identified or found. A manhunt is underway for this possible second suspect, though the extent to which this second person may have been involved or participated in the shooting is unknown, said Smithee.

Police believe the suspects cut through a fence near the creek with a tool to enter onto the event grounds in Gilroy, which is about 30 miles south of San Jose. There were no posted security cameras at the festival, according to Smithee.

The FBI Evidence Response Team from San Francisco has arrived and is currently processing the scene at the festival, according to the official source. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also arrived in response to the incident in Gilroy, along with various state and local police and fire departments, though no further information is available.

Eyewitness description

Julissa Contreras, who was standing within 20 feet of the shooter, told CNN’s Natalie Allen the gunman “looked like the average guy.

“White, about in his 30s, under 6 feet. He was wearing tactical gear, had a baseball cap on, sunglasses, and he had a semi-automatic rifle. He was dressed for what he was there to do.”

Contreras also said that “he didn’t look angry,” though she added that his “expression wasn’t really something I could read on his face but he seemed very well-versed in what he was doing… and he seemed confident in his use of the gun.”

Members of the band Tin Man, who were starting an encore when the shooting happened, told CNN the gunman was carrying a rifle and wearing a green shirt with a gray handkerchief tied around his neck. They also said that he sprayed gunfire from side to side with no direct target, creating pandemonium among the crowd.

What is not known

Police have not yet provided their own description of the shooter or what he was wearing and a possible motive for the shooting also remains unknown.

Josh Campbell, a former FBI supervisory special agent, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto that witnesses provided information to the police about a possible second suspect but “we know there’s almost always never a second shooter” in these types of mass killings.

Campbell noted the shooter was prepared, as demonstrated by the fact that he cut through the fence to avoid security and metal detectors. Among the questions that need to be answered is why the shooter wanted to get into the annual food festival, Campbell said, adding that the answer would speak to the gunman’s motive.

Law enforcement have already recovered a firearm and rifle ammunition from the shooting, a law enforcement official told CNN, but they have not provided the exact make of the firearm used.

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