When shooting broke out at Christmas Hill Park on July 28, 2019, one mom had to make a split-second choice.
Her son was lower than 10 toes away, however she knew she couldn’t attain him quicker than a bullet from the gunman’s rifle. Should she run towards her son to seize him, but danger being shot? Or worse, would her son run towards her and catch the eye of the gunman?
The mom stretched out her hand to attempt to seize her son, however her arm was trampled by the quite a few individuals fleeing the scene. It is a picture that can hang-out her eternally, she later advised counselors.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen advised the tales of the victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival mass shooting throughout a memorial at Christmas Hill Park on July 28, a yr later and on the hour of probably the most horrific tragedy in Gilroy’s latest historical past.
There was the veteran who hadn’t heard gunfire since his days within the service. His intuition was to leap on the closest kids he might discover to get them away from the bullets’ trajectory.
There was the volunteer who was taking care of a bunch of kids. She was pressured to keep barricaded with them, not understanding if her personal son, who was wandering the grounds on the time the shooting started, was alive.
The memorial was organized by the DA’s Office’s Gilroy Strong Resiliency Center, which offers providers similar to particular person and group counseling for all these affected by the shooting. A restricted quantity of individuals had been invited to attend in-person due to the continuing public well being order, whereas the general public was invited to watch it dwell on-line.
The shooting by 19-year-old Santino Legan left three useless—Trevor Irby, Keyla Salazar and Stephen Romero—and 17 injured. Investigators say the incident lasted a minute.
“Those 60 seconds were a time of evil, but that minute, and the hours, days, weeks and months that followed, showed Gilroy’s defiant answer to evil,” Rosen mentioned. “Our answer to evil was courage, service, empathy and finally, resilience. Our answer is that we are back, and evil is not.”
The three Gilroy Police officers who ran towards the gunfire and took Legan down—Robert Basuino, Eric Cryar and Hugo Del Moral—every acquired a medal of honor in the course of the memorial.
“How many could the perpetrator have shot in two minutes?” Rosen mentioned, including that the gunman arrived on the festival with shut to 300 rounds of ammunition. “The reason he did not murder or maim hundreds more was because of three incredibly brave Gilroy Police officers.”
The Gilroy Police Foundation will launch a scholarship fund within the officers’ names starting with the highschool class of 2021, Rosen introduced. Scholarships will go to graduating seniors who’ve proven exemplary service to their neighborhood.
Rosen mentioned the District Attorney’s Office will donate $10,000 to start the fund.
The memorial included a video tribute to the three who died, in addition to a pre-recorded efficiency by the Gilroy High School Chamber Singers.
Standing in entrance of a memorial that was constructed within the month after the shooting, Rosen mentioned Christmas Hill Park won’t be outlined by the tragedy, “a horror story told through the years.”
“This park is and will be families,” he mentioned. “This park is and will be a symbol of this proud and resilient community. This is a place that will not back down. It is Gilroy strong.”
Earlier on July 28, the Gilroy City Council and metropolis workers held a short ceremony at Christmas Hill Park, the place the Gilroy Police Department Honor Guard raised a Gilroy Strong flag.
“No community, no family, no person should have to experience the tragedy that happened last year,” Mayor Roland Velasco mentioned. “In the aftermath of this terrible and tragic incident, our community came together in solidarity and in support of everyone who suffered and experienced loss that tragic day.”