First woman shot at Gilroy Garlic Festival confronted shooter then ‘played’ dead as he asked ‘Are you all righ

First woman shot at Gilroy Garlic Festival confronted shooter then ‘played’ dead as he asked ‘Are you all righ

She played dead to survive, freezing every muscle as the Gilroy gunman dropped a spent clip near her bleeding body and asked a chilling question. “Are you all right?” the mass shooter inquired as Wendy Towner lay bleeding on the ground next to her badly wounded husband during the first few seconds of Sunday’s stunning carnage. “They played possum. He was going to finish them. He dropped a magazine clip right next to her head then continued to open fire. My brother-in-law was probably out of it,” Towner’s sister Christine Towner, 34, told the Daily News Tuesday. Christine recounted the horrific, heart-pounding confrontation after speaking with her sister in an ambulance just minutes after the Gilroy Garlic Festival rampage claimed the lives of two children and a 25-year-old man from upstate New York. She said Towner, 39, was selling habanero and garlic honey from a tent at the annual event along with husband Francisco Aguilar and their 3-year-old son when she saw gunman Santino William Legan, 19, climb over a fence and brandish his AK-47-type assault rifle. “She saw the gun and started yelling, ‘You’re not going to do this!’ She had multiple children in her own booth and then the bouncy house was nearby, too. She was trying to stop him from taking out as many people as he could,” Christine said. “In my opinion, my sister saved lives. She doesn’t back down from anything. She feared for those kids who were just steps away. There was no thinking, it was straight action. She slowed him down for sure and got people running,” the younger sister told The News. She said the couple’s son miraculously escaped harm when the 10-year-old granddaughter of family friend Cheryl Low managed to grab the toddler and drag him out of the gunman’s line of sight. “Their son saw everything. He was trying to run to his parents, but that brave girl jumped on him and pulled him under the table. That probably saved his life,” she said. “She was brave. She grabbed him and put him under a table,” the girl’s aunt Candice Marquez, who was working with Towner in the booth, confirmed to the Associated Press Tuesday. Marquez said she and another woman were working with Towner that day but stepped away shortly before the bloodshed started. They turned and saw the gunman after hearing the first pops and mistaking them for fireworks. “We were the only ones right there. He had a straight shot for both of us. I’ve never been so scared,” Marquez said. Christine said a bullet from the gunman’s high-powered rifle shattered her sister’s shin and tore through her leg, exiting out the back. Aguilar was shot twice in his legs and once in his shoulder and nearly died from damage to his femoral artery, the sister said. The husband and wife remained in a hospital ICU Tuesday awaiting more surgeries, she said. Concerned relatives set up a GoFundMe to help cover the couple’s medical costs, long recoveries and expenses related to their family-run farm. “I’m still trying to figure out how we’re going to get through this. She’s the owner of ‘Honey Ladies’ and has a full-sized ranch with horses, cows and sheep,” Christine said. According to Gilroy Police, armed officers at the scene began shooting at the gunman in less than a minute and killed him in a fierce firefight, despite the fact they were outgunned with only their handguns against a semi-automatic. “If he had walked into that open circle before he started shooting, he would have had 30 feet in every direction to mow people down,” Christine said Tuesday, praising her sister for engaging him early and sounding the alarm. Assault rifles are tightly regulated in California, but police say Legan was able to purchase his “legally” in neighboring Nevada on July 9. Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed his frustration over the loophole after visiting the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to speak with victims and family members Monday. “You can’t put borders up…to a neighboring state where you can buy this damn stuff legally,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “How in the hell is that possible? I have no problem with the 2nd Amendment, you have a right to bear arms but not weapons of goddamned mass destruction.” Newsom blasted federal leaders for turning a “blind eye” to the epidemic of mass shootings in the U.S. “California’s doing its part, but Jesus, these guys, the folks in the White House have been supporting the kinds of policies that roll back the work that we’re doing in states like ours to get rid of large-capacity magazines, to address the issues that we’re trying to advance on background checks,” he said. “And we could only do it for our state. We have to fight in the courts and fight these organized National Rifle Association (lobbyists), but then you have an entire party it seems, completely bankrupt,” he said. “And don’t claim to be compassionate if you’re participating complicitly in the world you’re living in. Society becomes how we behave. The lack of resolve, it’s just an outrage.” Fatal shooting at a California food festival leaves 3 dead, 12 injured The three victims who lost their lives Sunday were little Stephen Romero, 6, Kayla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, 25, a biology major from Romulus, N.Y., who graduated from Keuka College in 2017. At least a dozen others were injured, and five victims remained hospitalized Tuesday, ranging in age from 12 to 69, KTVU reported. Early in the chaos Sunday, an older brother of the shooter reportedly worried Legan might have been a victim in the attack. Family friend Jerome Turcan told the Los Angeles Times that he called Rosino Legan, 23, after hearing about the mass shooting and learned he was considering going to an emergency room to see if his missing brother was among the wounded.
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