GILROY (CBS SF) — Little Stephen Luciano Romero had gone to the Gilroy Garlic Festival Sunday afternoon with his mom and grandmother.
As the festival was winding down, they were at a kids bounce house near the music stage when suddenly a volley of gunfire rang out. All three were wounded and rushed to local hospitals. His mother — Barbara Aquirre — and grandmother — Barbara Velasquez Aquirre — to Valley Medical Center in San Jose.
Stephen was rushed to the trauma unit at St Louise Regional Medical Center. Unfortunately there was little doctors could do for the young boy who succumbed to his injuries.
Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting
Christine Ibanez took to Facebook to mourn the little boy’s passing.
“RIP little one. This should have never happened. Hug your little ones tightly tonight. Prayers to his family.”
Ibanez said Stephen’s mother was “suffering from gunshot wounds to her stomach and hand.” She was expected to survive.
The boy’s father, Alberto Romero, told the San Jose Mercury News he got a call from his wounded wife telling him someone had shot their little boy in the back.
“I couldn’t believe what was happening, that what she was saying was a lie, that maybe I was dreaming,” he told the paper.
The 33-year-old electrician rushed to St Louise, but then was told every parent’s nightmare. His son was in critical condition.
“They said they were working on him,” Romero told the paper. “And five minutes later they told me he was dead.”
Two other people, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s, died as a result of their wounds. Their names have not been released.
The Santa Clara County Health System said they treated 19 patients in connection with the shooting at their hospitals. Eleven patients had gunshot wounds, while 8 others suffered non-gunshot injuries.
At a news conference Monday morning at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a spokesperson said 7 victims remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds. The victims ranged in age from 12-years-old to 69-years-old.