Caylee Hammack, King Calaway, Waterloo Revival Okay Following Shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival
Caylee Hammack, King Calaway and Waterloo Revival have all checked in safe following a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California on Sunday afternoon (July 28). The three country acts were all performing at the event earlier in the day, a few hours before a gunman opened fire at the open-air food festival, killing three people and injuring multiple others.
According to the Gilroy Garlic Festival website, Hammack, King Calaway and Waterloo Revival were all scheduled to play the festival's amphitheater stage from noon until 3PM local time as part of Hot Country Sunday, presented by local radio station KRTY-FM. It was about 5:30PM local time (8:30PM ET) when gunshots were reported at the event, according to NBC News.
"WE ARE OKAY! We left right before all this must’ve happened and we are okay," Hammack, a rising singer-songwriter signed to UMG Nashville, writes on Instagram. "This makes me sick. There was so many smiling faces today, just enjoying the beautiful day together."
King Calaway -- a self-described "country boy band" -- and Texas country duo Waterloo Revival also posted to social media to let their fans know that they are okay. Another up-and-coming artist, Northern California native McKenna Faith, performed a two-hour set from 3:30PM until 5:30PM local time on the same stage. She let fans know she was "safe and out of the festival grounds" via Instagram Stories at around 8:15PM local time (11:15PM ET). According to Country Aircheck, staff from KRTY, which has sponsored the Gilroy Garlic Festival for 15 years, had also left the event grounds prior to the shooting.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival takes place at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, Calif., which is located about 30 miles south of San Jose. The for-charity event has been running since 1979 and is one of the largest food festivals in the United States. The festival was wrapping up its third and final day on Sunday when, witness Julissa Contreras tells NBC Bay Area, a white man in his early to mid-30s began firing a rifle that she describes as "able to shoot three to four shots a second."
"It was just rapid firing. I could see him shooting in just every direction. He wasn't aiming at anyone specifically. It was just left to right, right to left," she says of the gunman, whom NBC Bay Area says was dressed in camouflage-type combat gear. "He definitely was prepared for what he was doing."
On Monday morning (July 29), the shooter was identified as 19-year-old Santino William Legan. According to Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee (via Fresno's ABC30), Legan -- who was killed by police quickly after the shooting was reported -- entered the Gilroy Garlic Festival by crossing a creek that borders the festival grounds and using a not-yet-identified tool to cut the fencing surrounding the festival site. He was armed with an "assault-type rifle," which had been purchased legally in Nevada in early July, Smithee stated during a 10AM local time (1PM ET) press conference, and fired at three officers before being killed. His motive has not yet been determined.
As of 12:30AM local time (3:30AM ET), CNN reports, authorities were still calling the area an active crime scene and investigating reports that a second suspect was involved in the tragedy. During his press conference, Smithee added that there is no confirmation of shooting from that second suspect, but authorities are investigating leads about potential accomplices. The Gilroy Police Department asks witnesses to call 408-846-0583, not 9-1-1. "If you saw something today please call that number immediately," a Twitter post requests.
Three people -- 6-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero, a 13-year-old female and a male in his 20s -- were killed in the Sunday evening shooting. (This number does not include the deceased gunman.) CNN reports that the number of people injured is at 12, according to San Jose Fire Capt. Mitchell Matlow, as of about 6AM local time (9AM ET). Romero's paternal grandmother tells San Francisco's ABC 7 that his mother and maternal grandmother are among the injured.
The Boot will update this story with more details as they are made available.
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