Teen identified as gunman at California food festival, police hunt for associate

Edward Jacobucci, an evacuee, leaves the scene of the deadly Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in Gilroy, California. (AFP)

A gunman, who killed three people, including a 6-year-old boy, in a mass shooting at a food festival south of San Francisco, was identified, Reuters reported on Monday.

The gunman was shot dead by police officers within minutes of opening fire early on Sunday evening at the three-day Gilroy Garlic Festival, about 48 km southeast of the city of San Jose. He was identified as Santino William Legan, 19, according to CBS News and NBC News, both citing unnamed law enforcement officials.

Police were searching on Monday for a suspected accomplice of the gunman. The Gilroy police department declined to confirm the reports but planned to hold a news briefing later on Monday.

Among those killed was a 6-year-old boy, according to news reports. Fifteen people were injured, but it was unclear how many were shot or otherwise hurt in the crush of bystanders trying to flee, according to police. One person was in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

A second suspect "was involved in some way, we just don't know in what way," Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said late on Sunday, without giving further details.

"We have no idea of a motive," he said.

Police recovered a rifle at the scene, Smithee said.

The gunman cut through a fence to evade metal detectors and other security at the festival entrance, police said.

Legan, the teenager identified in news reports as the gunman, appeared to post a photograph from the festival on his Instagram account shortly before the shooting accompanied by disgruntled captions. The account only appeared to be a few days old, and was deactivated at some point on Monday morning.

Founded in 1979, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is an annual event run by volunteers and held outdoors at Christmas Hill Park. Weapons of any kind are prohibited, according to the event's website, which also said anyone wearing clothing or paraphernalia indicating membership in a gang, including a motorcycle club, would be refused entry, said the Reuters report.

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