Quick response in Garlic Festival shooting played crucial role

US & World

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A rapid response from law enforcement at Sunday’s good festival shooting in California was pivotal in minimizing the number of casualties, according to Eyewitness News law enforcement analyst Steven O’Donnell.

At least three people were killed when a 19 year-old gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Several others were injured.

As a former Rhode Island State Police colonel, O’Donnell said it’s the unfortunate reality and to “never underestimate what could happen.”

“In the short term, the body count is diminished from that,” O’Donnell explained. “I wouldn’t say it’s good news that anybody died, but it’s good news that law enforcement got there quickly and neutralized the suspect.”

O’Donnell said there are steps civilians can take to prevent these tragedies, or stop them from escalating.

“If they see something, say something. That’s never gonna change,” O’Donnell said.

He also said everyone should know what’s called ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training.

“The best thing really is to flee. Sometimes it’s hunkering down in space where they can be safe. But if it’s an open-air market, the best thing is to get away,” O’Donnell said.

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