By Marissa Perlman

GILROY (CBS13) — Neighbors say the Gilroy Garlic Festival is closely tied to Gilroy’s history.

Outside the Gilroy Police Department Monday, families honored the lives cut short from this shooting. For some, the festival takes place literally in their backyard.

“Everybody uses the Gilroy Garlic Festival is a family reunion,” said John Osaki.

Tens of thousands of people show up to come together in Osaki’s backyard and for the first time in decades, he was out of town.

“When we heard this while we were in San Francisco, we were really saddened by what took place,” said Osaki.

READ ALSO: Heroic 10-Year-Old Saved Toddler From Gilroy Garlic Festival Mass Shooter

Christmas Hill Park is right across the street.

“For this person to do this, it’s just sad and tragic,” said Osaki.

“It’s just terrifying for this community,” said Janet Costa.

Police sirens and ambulances took over Costa’s neighborhood. She had just left the festival an hour before the shooting but her young nieces were still there.

“They were told to hide. They were told to run. They came to our home. It’s just very scary,” Costa said.

READ ALSO: Police: 13-Year-Old Girl, 6-Year-Old Boy, Man In His 20s Killed In Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

Thankfully her nieces weren’t hurt, but she gets emotional thinking about the lives lost, and the others who were hurt.

“I am heartbroken for our community. It’s beyond tragic,” she said.

Neighbors say this tragedy will change the way they see this festival, this tradition that brings in tens of thousands of people from across the state every year.

Marissa Perlman


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