Three killed, several injured in shooting at California food festival

Three people have been killed and several injured after at least one active gunman was reported at a food festival in California, according to US media.

The New York Times, citing local city councilman Dion Bracco, reported that three people have died and several are injured. He also said one suspect was in custody.

“They don’t know if there were more, so they have to treat it as an active situation,” he told the paper. “We have police out here from as far away as San Jose.”

At least five people have been shot, according to a hospital spokesperson. Their condition is not yet known.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said two people who suffered gun wounds had been taken to hospital and that three more victims were expected to arrive shortly.

Local news NBC Bay Area reported that ambulance crews were told 11 people were “down” after gunshots were heard around 5.30pm local time.

A witness, Julissa Contreras, told the site she saw the gunman firing a rifle that was “able to shoot three to four shots a second”.

“It was just rapid firing,” she said.

“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… He definitely was prepared for what he was doing.”

Gilroy police released a statement, saying: “The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival.

“The scene is still active. If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B.”

The San Francisco Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding to the scene.

President Donald Trump tweeted: “Law Enforcement is at the scene of shootings in Gilroy, California. Reports are that shooter has not yet been apprehended. Be careful and safe!”

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom tweeted: “This is nothing short of horrific. Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community. My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops.”

A number of videos posted to social media showed people running away from the event. Gunshots could be heard in the background of some of the clips.

In one of the videos a woman can be heard asking: “Who would shoot up a garlic festival?”.

A 13-year-old girl told San Jose Mercury News she had initially thought the noise had been fireworks, but saw a man that had a bandanna tied around his leg wound.

One of the largest food festivals in the US, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is an annual three-day event south of San Jose at the outdoor Christmas Hill Park. It was founded in 1979 and is situated around 30 miles south of San Jose.

The event’s website says weapons of any kind are prohibited and that 4,000 people work and volunteer at the festival, reports sky news.

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