Gilroy police chief confirms shooter used AK-47 assault-type rifle in shooting

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The Mercury News
The Mercury News

The father of the young boy who was killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday said the shooting felt like a dream.

Alberto Romero was home in San Jose late Sunday afternoon when he got a call from his wife who was at the festival. She told him someone had shot their 6-year-old son in the back, her in the stomach and hand and her mother in the leg.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening, that what she was saying was a lie, that maybe I was dreaming,” Romero, a 33-year-old electrician, told CNN affiliate The Mercury News newspaper on Monday.

Romero also said that five minutes after doctors told him his son was in critical condition, they told him that the boy had died.

His son, Stephen, just graduated kindergarten and was excited to start first grade.

Romero said Joseph Corona, who is a family friend, came to the hospital to support him. He described Stephen as “always positive.”

“He’s a caring loving kid, always had a smile on his face,” Corona said. He continued to describe Stephen as “joyful, always wanted to play, always positive.”

Stephen was one of the confirmed fatalities Sunday after a gunman went on a shooting rampage at the crowded festival before being shot by police.

Romero said his wife, Barbara Aquirre, was at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in a medically-induced coma and that his mother-in-law, Barbara Velasquez Aquirre was also being treated there.

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