Four months after Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, victims file lawsuit faulting security

Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Three were killed and more than a dozen injured.

Now nearly four months after the horrific mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, some of the surviving victims have filed a lawsuit against the festival organizers.

The lawsuit claims the nonprofit that runs the annual event and its security firm did not do enough to keep people safe.

Wendy Towner says she was the first person shot back on July 28 during the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. 

Her foot remains bandaged and she requires a cane to get around.  

She and her partner Francisco Aguilara, who’s femoral artery was severed by a bullet, say their futures are uncertain because of their injuries.

“I don’t know if you’re ever going to be able to get on a ladder again or ride our horses or go hiking,” she said. “It’s really important things to us — to be able to run around after my son with a soccer ball, I just don’t know.”

They are two of a dozen people injured in the mayhem that day.  

Three other innocent victims were also killed.  

Nineteen-year-old Santino Legan got around the security and metal detectors at the annual fundraiser by cutting through a back fence before shooting people at random.  

Gilroy police say officers responded to the shooting within one minute. 

Legan ended up fatally shooting himself.

The lawyer representing the five surviving gunshot victims named in the lawsuit says the festival organizers and their security firm failed miserably at keeping those in attendance safe.  

He called the chain link fence along the perimeter inadequate and flimsy.

“They left an entire area open for anyone to come into that festival without pain, without going through the three areas where they were actually wanting people,” the lawyer said. “That’s an open door that’s about the length of a football field.”

In a statement the Gilroy Garlic Festival Assocation said, “The lawsuit filed today stemming from a horrific act of domestic terrorism is not unexpected, and we will respond through the appropriate legal channels.  As a non profit organization, we must remain focused on our mission: Fundraising for the entire community of Gilroy and the more than 150 charities that relay on us.”

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