Wounded mom with dying 6-year-old son calls husband from Gilroy Garlic Festival: ‘They shot him’

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

Wounded mom with dying 6-year-old son calls husband from Gilroy Garlic Festival: ‘They shot him’

by Julia Sulek

GILROY — Alberto Romero was home in San Jose late Sunday afternoon when he got the panicked call from his wife at the Gilroy Garlic Festival: Someone had shot their 6-year-old son in the back, her in the stomach and hand and her mother in the leg.

They had been playing at the bounce house.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening, that what she was saying was a lie, that maybe I was dreaming,” said Romero, a 33-year-old electrician who gathered with family members after midnight early Monday at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He looked stunned as he carried a green balloon into the lobby.

At first, Romero was told to head to St. Louise Hospital in Gilroy to see his son Stephen. When he arrived, the hospital staff told him the 6-year-old — who had just graduated from kindergarten and was excited to start first grade — was in critical condition.

“They said they were working on him,” Romero said, “and five minutes later they told me he was dead.”

Romero was escorted into his son’s hospital room to have a final moment with the boy. “He was joyful, always wanted to play, always positive,” he said.



People hug after a multiple shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival inGilroy, Calif., on Sunday, July 28, 2019. (Julia Prodis Sulek/Bay AreaNews Group)

Stephen was one of four confirmed fatalities, including a suspect, Sunday after a gunman in camouflage attire went on a shooting rampage at the crowded festival, apparently firing indiscriminately at about 5:30 p.m. just as the festival was nearing its end.

Witnesses say the shooter with an assault-style rifle fired at least 10 or 15 times, paused briefly and began firing again. The shooter was killed by police, authorities say.

Romero had been home with his 9-year-old daughter, staying behind to study for an electrician exam, when his wife frantically called that evening. After the shock of saying goodbye to Stephen at the hospital in Gilroy, he raced the 30 miles to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose.

That’s where his wife, Barbara Aquirre, was taken and placed in a medically-induced coma, he said. His mother-in-law, Barbara Velasquez Aquirre was also being treated there.

They were among the 15 people injured in the shootings at the world-famous garlic festival.

Joseph Corona, a family friend, arrived at the hospital late Sunday night to embrace Romero and couldn’t stop thinking of little Stephen.

“He’s a caring loving kid, always had a smile on his face,” Corona said.


All credit goes to Julia Sulek
Originally published on https://www.dailynews.com

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search