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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Breaking News of California Garlic Festival Shooting. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired July 28, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen at CNN Center in Atlanta and we are following breaking news here. A shooting has occurred in California at a food festival new San Jose.
This is video, new into CNN from a witness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: The sound of gun shots there and people running as this festival was about to end. This is when it happened. It happened in Gilroy, California, at the annual and very popular Gilroy Garlic Festival, marketed as one of the countries largest food festivals.
According to local news reports, quoting witnesses, there are people hurt and a law enforcement official tells us that the ATF is responding.
This tweeted a short time ago from the Gilroy California Police Department. It says the hearts of Gilroy P.D. and entire community go out to the victims of today's shooting at the Garlic Festival. This scene is still active.
We are closely following the development from this breaking news. CNN's Paul Vercammen is monitoring the story from our L.A. bureau. Also with us, CNN Crime and Justice Reporter, Shimon Prokupecz. Thank you both. Guys, I know you're working sources on this story.
Paul, first to you, what do we know about what happened and do we have information about whether the shooter has been apprehended?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No information of that nature yet Natalie. This is a still developing story. But, we do know that witnesses have told CNN that they heard multiple shots fired here at the Garlic Festival.
And some of you may be asking, where is Gilroy, California. It's about 80 miles south of San Francisco. And as you alluded to earlier, this is an extremely popular event. Garlic is big agribusiness in the Gilroy area. So, this is very well attended.
We've seen numerous reports that suggests that many victims have been taken to local hospitals and people have reported that they have seen people on the ground at this festival. But right now the information is just trickling in, and as you showed earlier, the Gilroy Police Department saying, active shooter. So, it is not known whether or not, Natalie, to your question, that shooter has been apprehended.
ALLEN: Right, well I've just gotten news from our producers here that the shooter has not been apprehended. So, let's talk about what that situation could be. There were reports that security has been stepped us this year because the problem with mass shootings at various festivals in the United States. But somehow this person has gotten into this festival and caused utter mayhem. Any word on how many people could have been affected?
VERCAMMEN: That's an area that we're very careful not to give you great detail on. We've seen some wild swings in the reports, and because it's just trickling in, Natalie, we're not sure. All we know is, that this is indeed a mass shooting.
Certainly, it's not an isolated incident, where we're hearing of one or two, but until we can get authorities to get on record with us, with how many people they believe have been shot, we're just not going to venture a guess right now.
But we do know that there are reports of multiple victims being taken to local hospitals and we've have seen the reports and the tweets about multiple people being seen on the ground at this various crowded Garlic Festival.
ALLEN: Yes, and as you speak, we're getting first video right here from Gilroy aerial video. You can see fire trucks and police cars that have responded. Let's go to Shimon for us in New York City, our Crime and Justice Reporter.
Shimon, maybe you can shed light on when something like this breaks out, Gilroy is, as you can see on the map, it is not that near large cities. So, talk with us about what the response would be like and where they would pull resources in from.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So certainly the neighboring counties are something you'd see law enforcement police officers from nearby. Obviously, you also have the California Highway Patrol. You can see some of their vehicles there, in the video, their SUVs. They are on scene, so they can respond pretty quickly with additional resources.
The ATF, as we heard, they were responding, so they would bring in resources as well as the FBI from probably San Jose, they would respond as well, and assist with whatever resources they could.
A lot of times what you're seeing, especially, I think, where we can tell from what we're seeing right now and hearing from now -- right now, is that I don't think police have a great handle on the situation.
Again, there were reports of possible two shooters; you hear that a lot in active shooter situations. Sometimes witnesses are mistaken.
But police are still searching, going through the festival. They're also looking for victims, and sometimes what happens in these situations, EMS, the medical technicians that arrive and go into these scenes, they need to go in with police, they need to go in with tactical gear, especially when it's believed that the suspect -- a shooter is still loose, they would have to go in and try to find victims and that can delay, sometimes, getting to victims. And that's why we're not hearing, probably, a good number yet on some of the injured.
Also in a situation like this, you have a lot of people running, and so they could trip over each other, people sometimes get trampled in these situations and that is how they get injured, not necessarily shot. So, that's what we see going on here. Obviously, it's a massive, massive police response. There could have been thousands of people at this festival.
According to their website, the Gilroy Garlic Festival, it's a three day festival, a lot of food, there's entertainment, people do pay to go to this, but there's really -- it's an all-day event.
It ends around 6:00 West Coast time, so the shooting, it seems, when we first started getting word of this shooting, that it came at the end of the festival, 9:00 o'clock Eastern time. Around that time, sometime after that is when we started getting word that this shooting had occurred. So, this seems to have occurred at the end of it.
PROKUPECZ: We're what, just about two hours into this incident. So, it's not uncommon for police, and given the -- when you look at the video there from the helicopter, you can tell it's a pretty big area where this happened, lots of tents. So, probably there were -- had to have been a lot of people there.
So, from what I can tell and based on some of the stuff that I've heard, that the EMS workers, the police, they were still going through the scene trying to find victims, making sure that they could clear it and they're still, as far as we know, looking for at least one shooter.
ALLEN: Yes. That is the information we have here. Thank you so much. Stand by, because now we have an eyewitness on the line with us. Miquita Price. She's just been reunited with her family, I'm told. Miquita, thank you so much for talking with us. What can you tell us about what you experienced when you first realized that someone was shooting?
MIQUITA PRICE, CALIFORNIA SHOOTING WITNESS: When I noticed someone was shooting I started running and we hit the ground and I literally laid down on the ground and he was still shooting. After he stopped shooting, that's when I got up and started to run into a truck. And after I started to run, he started back shooting. As he was shooting he shot the lady that was running right next to me. We kind of hid behind an Enterprise truck, and behind that Enterprise truck was the lady, her daughter and the sheriff, and one of my family members.
And so, the lady was like, I'm OK, and the sheriff was like no you're not, you're hit. And the guy was still shooting. And when he stopped the sheriff instructed me and one of my family members to jump over the fence and run. And that's what we did, we had to leap over the fence and that's when (ph) we run out. And it's just one of the scariest feelings, like I'm not sure I think this is all like a nightmare, because I don't believe this reality right now.
ALLEN: I'm sure it's very hard to comprehend when something like this happens that it's real. Did you see the shooter?
PRICE: No, but my family member did. I didn't because my head was down and they were on top of me, but it was a white male that came out at the end and where were located -- we were located about 15 feet from the shooter, there was no other way for us to run but out and that is the way the bullets were coming, in our direction.
ALLEN: How many bullets? How rapidly was the shooting?
PRICE: He had an assault rifle. It was going -- there was a lot of bullets that was coming. They were coming and the only reason why we're finding out when we did that hear that (inaudible) fire, because his wife (inaudible). If not, we probably wouldn't even be here to make this statement right now. So, it is nobody by God right now that I'm able to even talk to you guys, because we was just that close to that shooter.
ALLEN: How close were you?
PRICE: We were about 15 feet away from that shooter.
ALLEN: Oh, my goodness.
PRICE: He came up right in the area where we were eating at.
ALLEN: Oh my goodness. Fifteen feet?
PRICE: In an army fatigue outfit.
ALLEN: I'm sorry, what was he wearing?
PRICE: He was wearing army fatigues, yes.
PRICE: (Inaudible) wearing army fatigues, with an assault rifle.
ALLEN: Did he just -- where did you -- where would he have walked out from? Can you describe the area? PRICE: He came out (inaudible), so one of the venues that where we're at is an eating area. There's nothing but food areas, it's like a horseshoe and where he was located, he came out in between one of those venues and that's when he started shooting.
ALLEN: Could you tell how many people he was able to shoot? Any idea as people laid there?
PRICE: (Inaudible) -- it was like 60 people that got shot, so far we have confirmed that one person is dead.
And right now where I'm at is by the EMT, ambulance and the helicopter waiting to take people away and that's where I'm located at, across the street from the Gilroy High School.
ALLEN: Did you see a police response? I know this happened so quickly, but were there police on the scene?
PRICE: Yes, I was hiding with a police officer. The lady that was shot, it was me and the sheriff. She was -- an officer was right there, she was hiding with us.
ALLEN: Who was with you that was able to get away with you, Miquita?
PRICE: It was me and one of my family members. That's the one that she instructed for us to go over the fence and she stayed with the lady that was shot and her little daughter. They stayed up under the Enterprise truck.
ALLEN: What were you hearing around you other than shots? Were people screaming, were they yelling to try to help ...
PRICE: (Inaudible) tell me they (inaudible) the little girl -- we -- she had an accident. It was frightening, it was blood everywhere. It was a mess. I've never seen nothing like that in my life. It's like, I read about this, but I never though that I would be in this.
ALLEN: Totally understand. We can hear, as you're talking, we're rolling video. You can hear the gun shots popping in the distance there and this was the end of the festival. Were there -- was there music still going on? And was everything wrapping up?
PRICE: There was still music going on, everybody was wrapping it up. It was around 5:30, that we were getting our souvenirs, because I had been there every since (ph) 1:00 o'clock, so I had been at this venue, when all of a sudden I thought it was part of the venue, like pop, pop, pop, that that was part of the venue. That was real-life action.
ALLEN: This is a very popular festival for this region, a lot of families go to this. Is this something that you frequent often?
PRICE: No, this was my first time going with my family.
ALLEN: Oh my goodness. PRICE: And we will not come back. I do not patronize events like this. I don't even have shoes right now. Like, I'm thankful to be alive, but I ran out of my shoes.
ALLEN: How close do you think you got to being shot by this shooter.
PRICE: Between me and that lady, it was her or me, and evidently God did not put my name on this list this morning to get shot, thank you Jesus.
PRICE: That's how close it was.
ALLEN: I know this is a very popular festival and all the proceeds go to help supporting this community. It's been going on since the '70s. How many people would you say were there that you could see? Dozens, hundreds?
PRICE: It was hundreds? It was families, it was kids, it was all walks of life. It was people just enjoying the day.
ALLEN: Have you been told where to go or have you been advised of where people are congregating or being told to go for safety?
PRICE: Yes, they're being told to go to like (inaudible) high school and you can reunite, but some family members are just being let go and they can walk out and they're able to come, at least my family members that I just reunited with about 20 minutes ago. So, I have him with us and we're going home now. We're just going to go digest this or at least try.
ALLEN: Well, Miquita, you're so very fortunate. I know you know that and we know so many people, innocent people get called up in these mass shootings that we see all too often in this country and it's like you're in a state of shock, you don't realize what's happening, whether it's fireworks, whether it's a shooting, what was going through your mind immediately? Did you know this is a shooting?
PRICE: No, I did not. I thought it was fireworks. I literally thought it was pop, pop, pop, and when that second round came, it became real to me. And when I laid down on that ground, in my head, it said if I do not move, it's a possibility that I was going to loose my life. That is what the voice came in my head. And when he stopped, that's when I ran for everything I knew, that was it. It was now or never.
ALLEN: Yes, it worked. How far did you have to run to take cover?
PRICE: Just like about -- I would say about -- about 10, 20 feet. There was that truck, that's the only place I thought I was covered, was that truck and that's where I ran for.
ALLEN: How long did you hide out there?
PRICE: I hid out under that truck until the sheriff instructed me to go over that gate and get out of here.
ALLEN: And how long was that, before he get there?
PRICE: We stayed down for at least like three more, four more minutes. Because he was still shooting.
ALLEN: Who was with you? You said it was a family member.
ALLEN: Was it a child? Was it an adult?
PRICE: No, it was an adult.
ALLEN: How are they doing?
PRICE: They're here. They're traumatized and they're here. We're all now in the car safe, so we're going to try to just roll-out and go home and just try to digest it and just say a prayer for all the people that was involved and may not have made it.
My heart is compelled and it really hurts for them, because nobody (inaudible), like such and loose their life. Like nobody deserves that at all.
ALLEN: Right. Are -- do you feel OK to drive? I mean, how far do you live?
PRICE: I live in Sacramento, so my drive is at least almost, what, about two hours from here.
PRICE: So, yes, I have a long drive. So, I'm going to head home.
ALLEN: Well, I know that you're in a state of shock and this is just terrifying. Thank you so much for joining us and you're able to tell us our story, because we want to speak with people that just witnessed this and we're so thankful that you and your family member are OK. Miquita Price, thank you Miquita and we wish you all the best.
PRICE: Thank you for that.
ALLEN: Thank you. Let's talk about what we just heard with CNN National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem joining us. And CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Charles Ramsey.
First to you Juliette, where you listening to that witness and do you have some thoughts?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Couple things, first of all, of course this is a single eyewitness and while we're -- our hearts go out to her, we also have to remember that her viewpoint is just one. So, what she's seen is, obviously, from her perspective. We don't know if there's one or two shooters, we don't know the exact
weapon, but obviously there's going to be multiple eyewitness reports and that's how the police are going to put a picture together of how many people they're looking for.
The second thing is, this is an active case as far as we can tell right now, and I think the biggest hint about that is, because the police department have not come out formally. It's been a little while. This -- they normally come out relatively quickly, so we are in pursuit, so to speak, or someone is, and we'll just have to wait, because obviously the most important thing is the saving of life.
The third, and just quickly is, this focus on family unification. Unfortunately, you and I and CNN have done enough of these, at this stage that the key -- the sort of primary of priority issue right now is family unification. I was looking on the Twitter feed for the Gilroy Police Department. They do have a phone number, 408-846-0583.
The most important thing is to get families together, that's how you have accounting of who is there and that's obviously how you get people to remain calm and be calm. Once a mother knows that her child is OK, then things tend to get a little bit better after that. So, with our focus on family unification, which is key and important, and the most important thing today, obviously.
ALLEN: Right. And let's talk about the chaos. When people start hearing gun shots, that they're not even sure they're gun shots and people may never heard gun shots, or whether it's fireworks, the chaos of where to go, where to run and how to figure out where it's coming from.
KAYYEM: So on this, this is a -- so, I'm -- I was looking at pictures of the -- previous pictures of what -- of the festival. So, this looks like a sort typical festival. There's a couple entry points and then everything is just sort of open and there's booths and selling. I know this is a popular festival amongst restaurant owners and food purchasers, so you're really not going to probably have a lot -- you're not going to have a single or double evacuation points. It's probably going to be -- everyone's just sort of running for cover.
I think what that also suggests is that security would be very, very difficult once you're in side the parameter and it's not all clear how much security was at getting into the parameter. I'm seeing different reports, so I don't want to say conclusively, but one could suspect that it's not like entering an NFL football stadium. That it's probably quite lax. And so, we also don't know if there as forced entry.
So, this is one of your sort of worse case scenarios, in which you have enclosed -- and enclosed are that someone has gotten into and no -- probably no organization around how people get out of that area, that's why police are focused on family unification, because you have to suspect people go separated from the people they were with when they entered.
ALLEN: Yes, right, it's not like a music festival, where everyone's sitting together. There's music, there's food, it's a family event. Juliette, thank you. We're going to talk now with Charles Ramsey, he is the former Police Commissioner for Philadelphia.
Charles, what are the first steps police will be taking in this investigation and this search?
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER POLICE COMMISSIONER FOR PHILADELPHIA: Well, there's a couple of things they're doing. One, they've got to identify and locate any wounded to try to get them out of there so that can get medical treatment.
ALLEN: Charles, I've got to interrupt you just for a moment. We've got another witness joining us now. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he grabs me and says, get on the ground now. I thought he was joking. And everybody was leaving and ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, there was a lot of confusion, I would image, and a very chaotic scene with a number of children around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People looking for their kids too.
And as soon as the gunfire started, everybody scattered and people were yelling for their kids. And yes, you just heard this brah (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so, you heard a rapid fire?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a semiautomatic going off really close too. And people screaming and hiding and ducking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so, now your vehicle, all of -- with a lot of vendors out here, you're all in the same boat. Everything is still at the festival. It's an active scene still.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we don't really sort of know what's going on. Like, initially they got one shooter and they're looking for two others. We got moved over to the school and we're just waiting to hear where to -- when we can get in. They said we can't get our stuff for 24 hours. We're trying to figure out if we drive, do we go to hotel, where they going to move us, but really we can't leave without our stuff. And I'm from Berkley, I'm not from down here. I have no way home and I don't -- and we're just waiting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, thank you for sharing that first-hand account with us. And we are also trying to sort out a lot of the information still as it pertains to the shooter or shooters. But again ...
(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: All right, yet another witness talking about what they witnessed, and we're just talking about this with Juliette and we'll go back to Charles Ramsey as well, that the important thing here is to reunite families that might have been scattered.
So, Charles, let's go back to you. We were talking about what police are dealing with. The word is, this shooter, assuming it's one, has not been apprehended.
RAMSEY: Well, they're doing their best to lock down that area, to establish a parameter, but the reality is, when these things occur there's a great deal of chaos, you don't know if the shooter might have taken advantage of that and fled the scene as the same time. Do you have one person? Do you have more than one person? Is the description that we heard from the previous witness actually an accurate description of the shooter?
We don't know any of that at this point in time, and anybody who happened to be at that scene that may have cell phone video or any kind of video at all, that may have captured what took place, need to get in touch the police right away, because right now I would image they're going through a process that's really -- it's quite difficult to really get your handle on everything that's going on, so that you can provide accurate information to the public.
But just like Juliette said, right now a big part of that is going to be reuniting families. People were spread out all over, probably, various vendors, you starting hearing gun shots, people start running, reports of people being injured. That may or may not be the result of the shooting.
I mean, in situations like that, people trample other people, quite frankly, trying to find a way out. So, they've got a lot to sort through. But right now they've got to lock it down, they've got to search that scene to make sure that there's not more active threats right there.
RAMSEY: And then get them to the business of identifying this person.
ALLEN: Right. And it's 8:30 pm there in California, Charles, so as darkness sets in, who much more difficult will this be?
RAMSEY: Well, it gets to be a lot more difficult, but they'll bring in portable lighting and so forth, but they're going to do everything they can do to lock that scene down, but it's an outdoor scene. So, that's not easy and you've got to have the resources and the manpower there in order to able to do it, but darkness does complicate things, there's no question about that.
But, they'll do the best they can in terms of using K-9s and everything else at their disposal, helicopters, they'll use whatever they have to use in order to thoroughly search that area.
ALLEN: All right, Charles, thank you, Juliette thank you. We are staying on top with this breaking news coverage, getting more information trickling in. We'll take a short break, we'll be right back.
ALLEN: Welcome back, I'm Natalie Allen at CNN Center. We continue to closely monitor a developing situation. Reports of a shooting in the city of Gilroy, California, at the city's Garlic Music Festival, of all places.
Gilroy is about 30 miles from San Jose. Police say the situation is still active and the San Francisco branch of the ATF is responding to this situation.
We want to show you some video from the ground that we received from a witness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on? What's going on? Is there fire ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get right here -- get right here. Come on ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What (inaudible) going on? Oh (inaudible) they're shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who's shooting at a Garlic Festival?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We also received this video where you can hear gun shots.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Witnesses that hit the ground during this, described complete chaos, as you can image. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people were doing henna and they were hungry, so I want to get corn for them. And when I was at the corn booth two shots rang out first, and at the same time the music started for the concert, so I thought it was like an opening act for the concert, but after a few seconds there was so many shots, dat, dat, dat, dat, and I saw people falling down, kids falling down, I had to jump over three of the kids, one bullet passed me very closely and it hit out friend's booth, her chair and the shot went into her leg also, so she is injured there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, and I know you said you injured your knee in the chaos of all of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Running over and jumping over people to get to my booth to make sure that everybody was safe. I hurt my knee also.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: You can tell that people just had no idea what was happening. This is a three day festival, a very popular festival and this was the very end of the festival when this happened.
We're learning from Stanford Medicine, that two patients are being treated following this shooting. We want to go to former Secret Service Agent, Jonathan Wackrow joining us now. Jonathan is a CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and he is in Middletown, New Jersey. Thank you Jonathan.
We've got very little information to go on. What we do know is, from the best we can tell, at least one shooter at the end of this festival, somehow got in amongst the crowd and then started firing. What would be the police response? What would they be doing right now to try to find this person, that we understand has not been apprehended?
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well listen, this is the challenge for law enforcement right now.
You have a very dynamic and active crime scene where you do not have a proper identification of who the suspect is. So, as it said -- I believe (inaudible) Ramsey said earlier, the suspect could be -- potentially be hiding within the crown itself.
So, the law enforcement really has to take a very systematic approach as to how they're going to basically build out from the -- from the center of the attack, going outwards in concentric circles to understand where this individual is. Are they on the run, are they hiding someplace?
So, all law enforcement resources, whether it's from the Federal Government, local and state, are going to converge onto this location to actually put this threat down and ensure the public safety. From there, they'll take pause and then they will start looking at,
this is an active crime scene. They'll have to try to understand what the motive of the attack was. Is there any secondary attacks? And go on from there.
ALLEN: If this person, Jonathan, was able to slip away, for some reason if a security person or police was at this festival wasn't able to track this person, how much harder is that now, considering this is surrounded by a rural area and a woodland?
WACKROW: Listen, this is just -- it -- that -- then it transfers into a police investigation and understanding and bringing forth all of the clues together to make the proper identification.
One of the advantages today in the age of social media and everyone streaming video, conjoined with law enforcement's use of social media and video surveillance of these large public events, I think that identification of the individual should be made quickly if the police don't know it already.
ALLEN: Well, we're seeing video of a creek and some witnesses were saying there is a creek behind this festival and wondered if that's how this person moved in, because apparently, according to one witness I just talked with, they were dressed in fatigues. I think we have another witness now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sean (ph), tell our viewers out there what it was like for you. You told me it was around 5:30 this afternoon, this evening when everything kind of erupted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you could see -- you could hear bullets and the bullets were hitting the ground, you could see them go up and that's when I called out, it's a real gun.
And so, the crew and the band ran and hid underneath the stage. So, we were hiding underneath the stage, we could hear more gun firing happening. Eventually some gun fire happened and bullets were hitting the stage that we were hiding underneath. And then eventually it stopped. There was people just calling out, looking for people. Eventually we came out and I could see that there were -- there was someone down and they were performing CPR on them and later I heard it was the gunman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How quickly was all this happening? Because, we've got a few things we've got to dissect in that situation there. How quickly was all of this going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the whole thing took maybe 15 minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very fast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very fast. And you said that you saw bullets that were dropping, from -- from a gun, from a person?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, well it sounded like firecrackers going off, but then there was dirt puffs going up in unison, so that's a gun to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Describe to me exactly where you were and where you were looking out in order to see all of this happening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was very far stage right and looking out on -- looking over the audience, as the stagehand I had nothing to do other than wait for the band to finish. And so we were just about ready to start cleaning up and clearing out for the day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're in the middle of their song and you're looking out into the audience and that's when you started seeing ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard it first and then I saw the bullets, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. In terms of -- because I know that you had joined the band underneath the stage, that's correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Did you see victims? What did you see other than just dirt puffs hitting the ground?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, like I said, I came out later on and was looking around. I was worried about fellow crew members and I saw they were moving hay bales and the police were moving hay bales in front of something, so I drew my attention there and they were performing -- I could see somebody performing CPR and later on I heard someone else told me that it was the gunman there, because that's in the same direction where the bullets were coming from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see a gun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never saw a gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Were you -- have you been told by anybody that there have been just more than one shooter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I heard there was more than one shooter. I also saw people covered in blood. So, it's -- so, I -- someone I saw they had blood splattered all over them and a hand print on them, so they were standing next to somebody who got shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And were there emergency crews that were helping these people or what was going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At that time it was still -- there were people just coming to the area. There was a police presence there, thank goodness, so it didn't last very long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was it like for you when you were under the stage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- it was very scary. I was texting my family and telling them I loved the, because I had no idea what was going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You weren't sure if you were going to make it out alive?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When that's -- when all of that is going on, what were other people that were under the stage doing? We're you thinking possibly we have to find a way to get out of there or was it just huddle down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone was just being quite. We did not want to draw any attention to us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And once you were able to get out from underneath, what was going on then? Was -- were there police officers there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were police officers there, they were clearing out the area. The area that we had there was a tarp hiding us underneath the -- underneath the stage, so the police were coming to clear out that area, and so they told us to get our hands up and to come out one at a time and to make sure that everything was clear and safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then what happened from there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were escorted to a parking lot and then escorted to another meeting spot. And then we had to -- told we had to leave the park and now we're at one of the evacuation spots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During that time when you're coming over here, were you being informed of anything? Were emergency responders telling you what happened? That there were victims?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were telling us to stay calm and not to speculate and not to use our cell phones too much, because we wanted to keep the airwaves clear for police communication.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And in terms of not being -- being told that you can't use your cell phones, you're at the same time thinking, I need to let my loved one's know ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... what's going on. So, what was that like for you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, well it was stressful, because we had to -- I was texting people, I wasn't trying to have a prolonged phone call conversation. So, it was pretty harrowing, but I had to stay calm, because panic doesn't really help anybody. And we had to start cleaning up the -- I was there working, so .... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well Sean (ph), we're glad that you are OK, and we do thank you for sharing the time here. In terms of coming here, did -- were you hear looking for anybody? Did everybody get out that you came with?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you waiting for anybody here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's here now and we're talking about trying to find what's the next step. All my -- everyone's car is still there and it's going to be closed for the next 24 hours, so I mean I'm not going to have access to my vehicle for a while, so we're all trying to figure out how to get home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been told as to whether or not there is still somebody that's out there and that's what's preventing you from getting in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe so. Yes, I wasn't told -- I wasn't necessarily told. I overheard people talking about another shooter, but I don't know anything else from that point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, in terms of the people that were there with you, have you been talking to anybody that might still be in there that -- because from what we've been ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh no. No, no, no one I know is left. Everyone -- everyone is out now. So, yes, I don't know anyone that's left in the festival.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And just going back to the initial moment, it was the band's getting -- going through their last song of the night, I believe it was an encore that was happening, and then something just erupts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. Something erupts. It sounded like fireworks and then it drew my -- loud fireworks that drew my attention and then is -- the puffs of dirt in conjunction with the loud fireworks told me that that's a weapon and we don't need to be there. It's an active shooter situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell me how many shots you may have heard?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, five or six. And it happened relatively fast, and I saw only a handful of puffs of dirt for me to be able to figure out that it was a weapon so -- and we cleared out from that point. So, apparently the guy had a handgun. One of the people, as we were being evacuated, said that they guy had a handgun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, so you never saw the gun, but some people believe that it may have been a handgun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You aren't sure how many shooters might have been out there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you are certain, from what you've gathered looking out there, that it was definitely somebody that was shooting and that he was hitting people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there anything that might have seemed like there was an argument or a fight or something that might have provoked this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he came out of nowhere. The -- well, I was on stage with the band playing, so I wouldn't have heard anything beyond a stage anyway. It would have taken something very loud for -- to go over the P.A. system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, well Sean (ph), thank you so much for, again, sharing this with us. We're glad to see that you're OK and that your friends are doing OK and we're just sorry that you had to go through something like this, and we're just going to keep getting as much information and we appreciate the people that here at the reunification center, taking the time to really share what happened here today. So, thank you for that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do want to talk to ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: All right, another witness describing what he saw, what he heard, what he went through. We have on the phone with us now the Mayor of San Jose, California, Sam Liccardo is here with us. And Mr. Liccardo, we understand that San Jose is about 30 minutes north of Gilroy. What have you learned about this shooting and what the situation is right now in searching for who or if there were more people responsible?
SAM LICCARDO, MAYOR OF SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: Well, it is still an active scene. And so, I can't comment on what they've learned so far, but I can tell you, we've deployed more than a dozen police units down there. We've got a lot of fire units, providing paramedic service, and we're going to continue to send people down as Gilroy needs help. We know that they're going to need help with patrol and all the other basic necessities while the scene continues to be active.
ALLEN: What can you tell us about this festival? Where is Gilroy in relation to California? How popular is this festival? How many people might have been there? How many people live in Gilroy?
LICCARDO: So Gilroy's a city of a little more than 50,000 people, about 20 miles to our south. And we're a city of 1.1 million, so obviously we're the nearest big city. Hundreds of thousands of people attend the Gilroy Garlic Festival every year. It's a big attraction. It celebrates the agricultural heritage of the town and it raises money for local non-profits. It's an incredibly wonderful, family- friendly event, and this is the last place anyone would want to imagine such a horrible thing happening.
ALLEN: We have a tweet there on our screen right there from the Gilroy police, confirming that this is still an active crime scene, meaning that this shooter, or the shooters, we just don't know how many, has not been apprehended -- and also announcing that they will have an update soon. This should be the first from the police. So let's read it right here.
"As a reminder, please do not come to Christmas Hill Park. That is where the festival took place. This is still an active crime scene. We'll be sharing information with the media soon, and thank you for your patience during this rapidly evolving situation." Back to you, Mayor. How important was the response that Gilroy, being a town of 50,000, got support from San Jose and other areas?
LICCARDO: Well, it's pretty common for all the cities and towns to rely on mutual aide when something this awful happens. And we're always happy to provide it. I talked to the police chief just an hour ago and he said that, you know, he couldn't hold people back from running down there to try to help. So obviously, everyone wants to do what they can to help neighbors in need.
ALLEN: All right. Mayor, we thank you so much. Sam Liccardo out of San Jose, thank you for joining us. We want to go to now, straight to CNN's Dan Simon. He is on the ground for us in Gilroy, California. Dan, what are you learning and what is the scene there where you are?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Natalie. We are at the Gavilan College; this is sort the reunification site for people to meet up with loved ones. At this point, I would say there are a little more than a hundred or so people here, and as I was walking around, I encountered a gentleman who was actually performing with the band when the shots rang out.
I'm going to pass the phone to him in a moment, but he is the lead singer for the band, heard all of the gunshots and then immediately left the stage. His name is Christian Swain, and I'm going to hand the phone to him right now, Natalie, so he'll be able to talk to you. Christian, you're on with Natalie.
CHRISTIAN SWAIN, EYEWITNESS: Hello?
ALLEN: Yes, hi, Christian. Tell us what you experienced as this shooting broke out.
SWAIN: Well, we were the last band, the last day on stage, (inaudible). 5:30 had just come, because that was the end of our set. The crowd asked for us to play one more song, which we launched into, and about halfway into it, we heard about three pops to the left-hand side of the stage. And, you know, it's a little confusing. We didn't know what that was.And then all of a sudden, there was a whole volley of shots that all of a sudden became very obvious.
And so, we ran off the stage. We crawled underneath it, and we laid down, hid, kept quiet until the police arrived. They seemed to have secured the area fairly quickly, probably within five or six minutes. They came and found us. Somebody said there's people under the stage and we let them know that's the band. And they escorted us out, and they escorted us away. Our guitar player did see the shooter. He said it was a guy with what appears to be an assault rifle.
He's not a weapons expert. He doesn't know much about it. He said that several times to the police that interviewed him so far. But he said he was wearing a green shirt, had a gray bandana around his neck, and a ball cap. And that's all he remembered. We saw people with blood on shirts. I don't think any of us saw actual victims.
We were escorted away very quickly. It's a large scale event. And you know, we probably walked half a mile to one point. We thought we'd, you know, be allowed -- escorted back to get our equipment, and then they told us no. They're going to secure this down, lock this down for 24 hours. And then they moved us out to a high school; they put us on some buses, and then took us over to Gavilan College, which was the next point (ph).
ALLEN: Well, Christian, we're very glad that you and your band mates are OK. As you were speaking --
SWAIN: Thank you.
ALLEN: -- I just learned one person is confirmed dead so far, and multiple people have been injured. So you were quite fortunate. When you said you heard the first pops and then the volley, any idea how close the shooter was to you?
SWAIN: Oh, he was like 20 feet away from us. We could smell the gun powder.
ALLEN: My goodness. What were you thinking? What were you feeling as you went and hid under the stage?
SWAIN: You know, all I can say for me is that it was just everybody shut up, keep quiet, stay down. We knew the event was well-covered with security, and we'd seen them as we came in to set up and play. So, you know, at least in my head I knew they would be there, and sure enough, that seems to be what happened.
ALLEN: Your band member that saw the shooter and believed it was an assault rifle, did he -- was he able to figure out the proximate age of this person or any description?
SWAIN: He says 30 to 40 years old.
SWAIN: Caucasian, right? Yes, definitely Caucasian. ALLEN: And again, where are you right now?
SWAIN: We're at the reunification place (ph) at Gavilan College in Gilroy.
ALLEN: And what is -- can you describe the scene there? Are there a lot of people there that are banning together?
SWAIN: Yes, you know, it seems like people are showing up to pick people up. Nobody is allowed into the site until tomorrow afternoon about 5 o'clock.
ALLEN: And about the time the shooting happened, how many people would you say were in the crowd or around you? How -- because it happened --
SWAIN: Oh, there were thousands. There were thousands. There were -- there were several hundred in front of us, watching us play. There was a set of vendors selling food, just to the left of us. And from what Jack tells me, the shooter was indiscriminately firing, I guess mostly in that direction to start (ph).
ALLEN: My goodness, thousands of people. Christian, thank you so much. If you could hand the phone back to our reporter, Paul Vercammen, we'll continue our reporting. Thank you so much. We're so glad you're OK and your band.
SWAIN: Thank you. Thank you very much. Yes, we're very lucky.
ALLEN: Hey, Paul, can you hear me? Paul? Let's see if we can --
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (Inaudible). So I believe if Dan isn't going to hang up, I'll pick it up from here. We understand there's been a tremendous response from various fire departments and ambulance companies in the area. And Cal Fire alone, they don't just cover fires. They have sent three air ambulances, at least, and 10 medic units to the area. And you, of course, earlier, Natalie, reported that they had sent some of the shooting victims to Stanford Medical Center.
That would be to the north. Also, Governor Gavin Newsom is now weighing in. This is on his twitter account. He said, "This is nothing short of who horrific. Tonight, California 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." And as you confirmed, at least one person has been killed in this incident, and they are still calling this an active shooter scene. That's the Gilroy Police Department. And we noticed also, in nearby Morgan Hill, they were also warning people to stay away from the fairgrounds, the grounds where this Gilroy Garlic Festival annually occurs, Natalie.
ALLEN: Right. Let's go back to Dan Simon. He's there at the scene. Dan, can you hear me?
SIMON: Yes, I can hear you, Natalie.
ALLEN: All right. Can you go ahead and talk more about what you're seeing at the scene there?
SIMON: So this is the reunification area, and what I'm seeing is just people sort of sharing stories with one another, hugging their loved ones. There are -- there's a bunch of people now getting on to a bus. I'm not exactly sure where they're going at the moment, but I just encountered another person who witnessed what was going on.
You heard from a musician just a moment ago. This is actually another musician who was up on stage, the guitar player, who actually saw the gunman. I'm going to pass the phone now to him. This is Jack Van -- what's your last name? Jack Van Breen. And he was about 20 feet away from the shooter. So I'm going to pass the phone, again, to him, Natalie. Here you go.
ALLEN: All right. Thanks, Dan. Jack, thanks so much for talking to us.
JACK VAN BREEN, EYEWITNESS: Hi, Natalie.
ALLEN: Yes, hi, Jack. Thanks so much. You saw the shooter. Can you describe him?
VAN BREEN: I can. It was, I believe, a white male, 30, 40 years old. I'm not real good at that. He was wearing a green top of some type. He had a gray handkerchief, you know, a kerchief around his throat, and a ball cap of some type. I heard what sounded like a rifle shot to me, and I turned and saw him, and he was getting ready to shoot some more into a large group of people. And I turned to my band mates in TinMan and said, "Time to go." And we cleared the stage with the sound crew and got below the stage where we'd at least be not visible.
ALLEN: Is there any way that you can give us a sense of his demeanor?
VAN BREEN: He seemed to be angry, but, again, he was quite -- you know, 20, 30 feet from me. And so, I didn't get a good close -- and once I saw that he was shooting multiple rounds, I didn't want to stick around and, you know, talk to him.
ALLEN: Understood. Understood. As far as where he was standing, where might he have come from if he was next to the stage? What was behind the stage?
VAN BREEN: Well, he wasn't -- it was next to the stage, a ways away. It was the start of the food court, in that part of the garlic festival. So he came from the service road, as near as I could tell. That was the direction he was heading, but it was away from the service road. There is a creek right there, and he may have come from there. I don't know.
ALLEN: This service road, is that the road I think I've heard described, where it's closed to the public but that's what the vendors use?
VAN BREEN: Exactly so. The vendors on the north side of the park use that to access and bring in their wares, the food, et cetera.
ALLEN: Did you come that way to set up as a musician?
VAN BREEN: Yes, we did come exactly that way --
ALLEN: And --
VAN BREEN: -- but we got - we got there early. We got there about 2:30, and then we brought our gear in. We hung out behind the stage and listened to the other bands, and we were just -- you know, things were calm and peaceful.
ALLEN: Right. And when you got to the service road, was there security there to check you before you came into the festival?
VAN BREEN: No, and that's not something that they've done in the past years.
VAN BREEN: But there's never been anything like this.
ALLEN: And we heard from your band mate, Christian, about what happened after that, but let's hear it from you, Jack. As soon as you realized that's a person with a gun, what did you do?
VAN BREEN: As I said, I turned to my band mates and said, "We have to get off the stage." We and the sound crew that was on stage with us, plus some volunteers from the Garlic Festival that were being our support, we all got down. We crawled under the stage. The stage had, what do you call it, sheeting around it so you couldn't see under the stage. And we all laid down quietly and hoped that he would be apprehended or at least go away.
ALLEN: And, you know, Jack, what was running through your mind?
VAN BREEN: I was just, "Oh, my god, this is actually real. This is not watching somebody else on the news."
ALLEN: Right. Because so many times in these instances with these -- and with festivals, as we saw in Las Vegas, these are just people out enjoying themselves and it's hard to comprehend. Was it for you? That, "I'm in the middle of what seems to be a mass shooting."
VAN BREEN: Yes, it is exactly -- my first thought was, "This guy's going to try and shoot as many people as he can." And I've got family; I didn't want to be part of it.
ALLEN: How many band members were performing?
VAN BREEN: Tin man is a five-piece band, so the usual bass, drums, keys, singer, guitar player.
ALLEN: Have you been able to reach your family to let them know you're okay.
VAN BREEN: Yes, even while we were still under the stage, I was able to reach my wife and kids and tell them that it's a situation. We think we're OK. And as soon as the officers cleared the immediate space and requested that we go to a gathering zone, I texted my family, members of my other household and my work to let them know. And then I took a moment to put a Facebook post because I have a lot of friends that might have heard about it on Facebook, and I wanted them to know that I was safe.
ALLEN: You know, when this first broke out and we were reading that it happened at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, that was hard to comprehend. This is a food festival. It's been going on for decades. It supports the community. It's a family festival. Have you performed there before, and what is the vibe of this festival?
VAN BREEN: Yes, we -- this was our third year performing there with this band. I had performed twice before with a different band. But we've never seen anything like that. The festival's very well- organized. They monitor alcohol consumption very closely so that you don't have the typical alcoholic disputes that you would have when you have thousands of people on the hottest weekend of year. So it's shocking --
ALLEN: Well, Jack --
VAN BREEN: -- you know?
ALLEN -- we appreciate you talking with us. We're glad you're OK. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
VAN BREEN: You're welcome. And I just hope that the families that are affected more than I can get the support they need.
ALLEN: I'm sure they will. Thank you for that, Jack. All right, to our viewers now, we're staying on top of this breaking news coverage. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.