At least three people were killed and several others injured in a shoot-out at a Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California on Sunday, city councilor said.
The City Council, Dion Bracco, said three people were killed and 12 were injured in Gilroy, about 30 miles southeast of San Jose. He did not know if the number of injured victims included the three deaths.
The number of victims could not be immediately confirmed by the police.
Mr. Bracco added that a suspect was in custody.
The shooting took place during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual three-day event at Christmas Hill Park. Gilroy, a city of about 60,000, is a major garlic producer and home to farm workers and people commuting to technical jobs. Gavin Newsom said on Twitter it was "downright horrible".
Videos that were published in the social media showed participants running past white tents in a meadow, apparently firing on the run. People were told to gather at Gavilan College, a community college on the outskirts of the city.
Police reported on Twitter that shootings had occurred, but did not immediately respond to requests for additional information. The sheriff office in Santa Clara County said his deputies assisted.
Olivia Chiu, 24, a festival visitor from San Francisco, said she and her boyfriend heard shots at 5.30pm. This seemed to come from a central area near grocers and merchants.
"Everyone was panicking and trying to flee the festival to a safer area," she said.
She and several others ran from the park to an area where they knocked on doors in search of protection.
Jonathan Williams, 29, raised in Gilroy, sat on a hay bale when he heard what he thought was fireworks. When the sound did not stop, he noticed they were shots – at least 20.
He saw many people, including children with their parents, running away frantically and hiding under everything they could find. "There were people jumping in closed tents and hiding under tables," he said.
Peter Leroe-Munoz, an alderman, said he volunteered for a stall at the Garlic Festival and was appalled when he heard that the shootings were taking place at the city's main event.
"This is our crown jewel in terms of our cultural identity," he said. "For this kind of tragedy to happen in a place so central to our community, it is a tragedy that can not speak."