Gilroy shooting victims on road to recovery gifted a refurbished SUV

A family who was victimized in the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting receives a gift from a nonprofit.

It’s been nearly three months since gunman Santino Legan opened fire during the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. Wednesday, two survivors received a helping hand on their road to recovery.

Their surprise under the black and blue blanket wasn’t hard to guess. But it meant the world and so much more for Wendy Towner and her husband Francisco Aguilera.

“Oh it feels amazing to me. To be part of such a generous community. It’s been really heartbreaking, this whole situation. And um, it’s been humbling to say the least. So thank you everybody,” said Towner.

A family who was victimized in the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting receives a gift from a nonprofit.

Representatives from a collision repair shop, an insurance company, and the Gilroy Foundation joined together in presenting the couple with a refurbished Dodge Journey.

“All of this is community being put into the car to restore it,” said Caliber Collision General Manager Justin Bliss.

Wendy and Francisco were among the first injured during the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in July 28. Alleged gunman Santino Legan opened fire, killing three and wounding 17. Towner suffered a leg injury that prevents her from driving the family’s old manual transmission car.

“Permanent nerve damage in my lower leg. So I’ve got very little feeling in my leg and my foot. So it’s not possible to drive a stick shift,” said Towner.

The Gilroy Foundation, a non-profit formed after the crime, donated the funds to purchase another vehicle. All State insurance donated the recycled SUV – stolen two years ago, but now restored to working order.

“We’ve donated hundreds of vehicles to veterans and families in need,” said Fremont All State agent Kathy Clark. Added Karen LaCorte, a boad member of the Gilroy Foundation, “This was a challenge that we met. We faced it and we’re pretty proud of the work we’ve done.”

A team of Caliber Collision technicians turned the dusty donated SUV, into a shining gem, ready for the road, as this family moves a little farther along their journey to recovery.