GILROY, Calif. (KTVU) - With a population of 59,000, Gilroy is not a place where everybody knows everybody. Beyond its long agricultural history, it's also a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.
But, for a half-century, the world-famous Gilroy Garlic Festival has bonded the town folk as those who live in the undisputed garlic capital of the world.
"The Gilroy Festival is kind of like a family reunion for this town. Everybody comes back for that," said Gilroy Realtor Ruth Garcia.
Yesterday shook the town to its core.
"The feelings probably won't fade. it will always be traumatic," said Ashley Sapp whose family lives a mile from the festival. "You know we were just hold up in the house and, you know, holding our guns and hoping nobody barged in the door or anything," said Sapp.
In a word, what's happening is nuts. "
You never expect it, but you have to be prepared for it today. That's the way it is. You cannot control craziness," said Garlic Festival volunteer Kent Kolegue who ran from the bullets.
"Just that you never know when something like this is gonna happen; never know when and where," Gilroy businessman Zack Snyder said.
Even the youngsters worry about their town and their own safety.
"We just like really hope that it doesn't become like a thing I guess here because that would be just awful that so many people think it's OK to be doing all this stuff," said 13-year-old resident Adri Cervantes.
Her brother, 12-year-old Reinier said, "After what happened, like people will say, 'I don't want to go the Garlic Festival anymore because there was shooting" and people might see that on TV and go back and then do it themselves."
Gilroy is hardly alone.
"If you lived here, you could move away and wherever you move to next, it's gonna happen again," said resident Betsy Kienle.