Valley teens recount Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: ‘This could happen at any time’

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Two Central Valley teens, who had just recently moved to Gilroy, were in the middle of the festival's chaos Sunday

GILROY, California — Right in the middle of Sunday’s shooting were two Central Valley teens who just moved to Gilroy to play on Gavilan College’s team. The two were working a shift for the team’s fundraiser when those first shots rang out.

More than six hours after the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival happen, the teens say the experience will be sticking with them for a very long time.

Ethan Rogers and Devin Pacheco had just wrapped up working at their team’s ticket booth for the day. As they made their way to an exit, the pair heard gunshots.

At first, just around five-to-ten, according to Rogers. Then after a pause, Rogers claims to have heard around 40-to-50 shots. That’s when everyone made a mad dash to get out of the festival.

This was Rogers and Pacheco’s first time at the festival — they never expected they’d have to run for their lives.

“There was just a lot of adrenaline, like, almost a movie scene,” Rogers said. “Just went into autopilot.”

The two had only recently moved to Gilroy, Pacheco hadn’t even hit his two week anniversary. For them, this move meant the beginning of something great.

Now it’s marked with tragedy.

“We just moved out here for football and school — just starting our lives,” said Pacheco. “It was just scary…and we couldn’t rely on our parents because they’re so far away.”

They expected to learn some life lessons moving out to Gilroy. However, they didn’t expect this one so soon after leaving home.

“This could happen at any time, obviously it happened here,” Rogers said.

Rogers graduated from Clovis High School this year, while Pacheco graduated from Sunnyside High School.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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