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3 dead, at least 15 injured in mass shooting at California festival

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Three people are dead and at least 15 injured after a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, according to law enforcement officials.

The Gilroy Police Department says officers responded within seconds of the gunfire beginning, and killed the suspected shooter.  Investigators say the suspect apparently cut through a fence to avoid security screening at the festival entrances.

“The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival,” the tweet said. “If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B.”

Video from the festival appears to show people fleeing after hearing gunshots.

Lex De La Herran told CNN he was walking away from the stage and “about two minutes later, I looked over to hear multiple gun shots and saw smoke through the air.”

“Initially I thought it was fireworks,” he said. “People started screaming and running, I instinctively did the same. It was complete chaos.”

De La Herran said a piece of shrapnel hit him in the head.

“I remember seeing a whole stampede of people running, jumping fences,” he said. “Some man screamed ‘Those are real!'”

Two patients are being treated at Stanford Medicine, spokeswoman Julie Greicius said.

The Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department dispatch told CNN an emergency center for this incident has been established at W 6th St and Hanna street.

Gilroy police said a witness line and family reunification line had also been set up.

A law Enforcement official confirms FBI agents from the San Francisco division are responding. ATF San Francisco’s field division is also assisting, according to a tweet from the agency.

‘It’s one of the scariest feelings’

Miquita Price told CNN there were hundreds of people at the festival Sunday.

“It was people just enjoying the day,” she said.

When Price realized someone was shooting, she ran and then laid down on the ground. The shooter stopped and that’s when she said she ran to a truck. Price said a woman running next to her was shot.

“It’s one of the scariest feelings,” Price said. “I think this is all like a nightmare. I don’t believe this is reality right now.”

Peter Winzell was at the festival near its main stage when he saw the shooter. He told CNN affiliate KPIX-TV the band was playing the last song when the shooting started. He said he heard 20 to 25 shots.

“I saw him for approximately one second, he was firing with intent to hit people,” he said.

Thirteen-year-old Evenny Reyes of Gilroy told the Mercury News that she and her friends had spent the day at the festival.

“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot. And there were people on the ground, crying,” she told the newspaper. “There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.”

Politicians and celebrities respond

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted the shooting was “nothing short of horrific.”

“Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community,” Newsom’s tweet read. “My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris said on Twitter that her office is “closely monitoring the situation.”

“Grateful to first responders who are on the scene in Gilroy and keeping those injured by such senseless violence in my thoughts.”

President Donald Trump also tweeted, saying “law enforcement is at the scene of shootings.”

US Rep. Jimmy Panetta tweeted he was aware of the shooting.

“The staging area for families and loved ones is at Gavilan College at parking lot B. Please follow @GilroyPD for more information. I will also post updates as I have them,” he said.

Gilroy has a population of about 57,000 people, and is widely known for its garlic production and processing.

The annual food festival is held at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, about 30 miles southeast of San Jose. Sunday was the festival’s final day. It routinely attracts 100,000 people, according to previous attendance records.

The festival dates back to 1979, when the first festival was held.

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