At Least Four People Killed in Shootings at Festivals in California and New York
The Gilroy, California police chief credited his department’s robust security operation with stopping the shooter in his tracks.
- By Haley Samsel
- Jul 30, 2019
This past weekend featured a far-too common sight in American life: two deadly mass shootings, this time at family-friendly festivals held in California and New York.
In northern California, attendees were enjoying the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday when a man wearing tactical gear began shooting indiscriminately at festival-goers. At least three people were killed, including two young children, and 12 others were left wounded. The main suspect was shot and killed by police at the scene.
“It's sort of a nightmare you hope you never have to live in reality," Gilroy police chief Scot Smithee said at a news conference, according to NBC News.
Police officers were present for the duration of the three-day event, allowing the officers to quickly engage the suspect within a minute of shots being fired.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the officers for being able to engage this guy as quickly as they did,” Smithee said. “It could have gone so much worse so fast.”
Law enforcement officials in Gilroy believe a second person could have been involved in the shooting, CNN reported. Smithee said they believe that the suspects cut through a fence by a nearby creek to gain access to the fairgrounds. There were no posted security cameras at the event, he added.
Festivalgoers in New York City faced a similarly terrifying situation on Saturday night, when one person was shot and killed at a Brooklyn park as the 56th annual Old Timers Day event was wrapping up its festivities.
At least two gunmen opened fire on a crowd gathered near a playground, wounding 11 people and killing one 38-year-old man, The New York Times reported. Police were investigating whether the shooting was related to a gang dispute, particularly because the victim was believed to be a Bloods gang member.
More than 100 police officers were on duty at the event when the shots were fired into a crowd of about 2,000 in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, according to the Times. Police were not sure if the wounded people were targets of the shooting or just caught in the crossfire.
At a news conference on Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would increase funding to gun violence prevention programs within the city.
“I want to make really clear, this tragedy does not define Brownsville, does not define the people of Brownsville, does not define what’s happening on the ground in a community that has worked so hard and come so far,” de Blasio said.
Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.