Fatal Victims of Garlic Festival Shooting Were 6-Year-Old Boy, 13-Year-Old Girl, Man in His 20s

The shooter was fatally shot by police less than a minute after the shooting began

A 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s were the three fatal victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at a food festival in Northern California in which 12 people were also injured, police said.

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee did not identify the victims of the shooting at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival by name, but family members have identified the 6-year-old Stephen Romero as one of the victims.

Smithee confirmed the shooter was Santino William Legan, 19, who opened fire at 5:41 p.m. with an “an AK-47-type gun” and appeared to be shooting at random. He was confronted by police in less than a minute and fatally shot.

Festival attendees, Smithee said, were subjected to security bag checks and metal detector wands when they entered the premises but the shooter appeared to gain entry to the event by cutting an opening in the fence bordering the parking area.

Smithee said police do not know the motive for the shooting, but multiple outlets have reported the shooter referenced a white supremacist book on his Instagram account just before the shooting.

Gilroy Garlic festival shooting
Josie Lepe/AP/Shutterstock

Police are still searching for a possible second suspect who was reported by some eyewitnesses, Smithee said, though he added Monday morning that police “really don’t know” if that second suspect exists.

Stephen Romero’s father, Alberto Romero, told the Mercury News that Stephen, his mother and maternal grandmother had been playing in the bounce house when all three were shot as the gunman opened fire.

Gilroy Garlic festival shooting
Josie Lepe/AP/Shutterstock

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The boy was shot in the back, said his father. The boy’s mother was hit in the stomach and hand, and her mother was struck in the leg.

Stephen Romero
Stephen Romero.

The dad paid tribute to his slain son, saying, “He was joyful, always wanted to play, always positive.”

Stephen’s paternal grandmother, Maribel Romero, described Stephen as a “loving boy,” she told ABC7 News.

She said he was “always kind, happy and, you know, playful.”

Gilroy is a city of about 50,000 people about 20 miles south of San Jose. It is known as the “Garlic Capital of the World,” the Associated Press reports.

Updated by Christine Pelisek
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