Gilroy Community Gathers For A Vigil

Jul 30, 2019

The Gilroy community gathered Monday night for a vigil. They honored the victims of the deadly shooting at the Garlic Festival through prayers and chanting.

“We are, Gilroy Strong, we are Gilroy Strong,” the crowd chanted. 

Hundreds of people stood around a grassy lawn in front of City Hall. Speakers included Gilroy Police Sergeant Jason Smith who responded to the shooting. The crowd applauded loudly as he took the stage. 

“We are so proud to serve this community and we're going to continue to serve this community because we love you guys. We love you guys,” said Smith.

Gilroy resident David Almeida coordinated this vigil.  

“We've got a great community here the city as a whole, especially for how big it's getting... it’s still pretty close knit,” Almeida said. 

The Garlic Festival is a family-friendly event and an annual celebration for the area. A gunman opened fire on the crowd on the third and final day of the festival, killing three people and injuring 12 others before police killed the 19-year-old suspect. 

As people ran out, festival goer Kaycee Waters said she was really concerned about the children who got separated from their parents. 

“It broke my heart, seeing these kids that, you know, like they didn't know where some of their family members were. They didn't know what was happening,” Waters said. 

Vigil attendees held up candles in paper cups. The ceremony wrapped up with a moment of silence for those who were killed, Stephen Romero, 6, Keyla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby who was in his 20s. Then, the crowd sang Amazing Grace.

Another remembrance is planned for Thursday night in downtown Gilroy.