More than $500K raised for Gilroy Garlic Festival victims

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- Gilroy residents have been coming out in the thousands to show support in the aftermath of the Sunday's fatal shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

People from across the country are also showing support in the form of donations.

Donna Pray, the Executive Director of the Gilroy Foundation, says as of Friday afternoon, they have raised over $500,000.

RELATED: Coroner: California garlic festival gunman killed himself

She says the fund was set up the night of the shooting and donations immediately started pouring in.

"People kept sharing on Facebook, on Instagram and by the end of the (first) day we had over $50,000," says Pray.

"It means that not only does Gilroy care about Gilroy, because we are a very tight community, but our neighbors in Silicon Valley, our neighbors in the East Bay, our neighbors in San Francisco, and Los Angeles, we are getting donations from all over."

Pray says the victim's fund is money that can be used to cover items such as funeral expenses, hospital bills and lost wages.

And locals are showing their support for the community in many other ways as well.

RELATED: What we know about Gilroy Garlic Festival suspect Santino William Legan

Josue Salgado, who played soccer for UC Santa Barbara and who now teaches children in an after school program, grew up in Gilroy. He got a new tattoo: a garlic bulb with the word STRONG in bold capital letters running across it, with the date of the shooting below it.

"The strong had to go heavily through the garlic, because that what we are, garlic, Gilroy Strong!" says Salgado.

He says the tattoo represents strength, and will be a constant reminder of how his community united to overcome tragedy.

"It's probably the best tattoo in town, honestly. What better way to show support. It's going to be on him for life," says Salgado's friend Giovanni Troini, who also grew up in Gilroy, and who was at the festival the night of the shooting.

Tammi Blundo was a one of the volunteer on Sunday at the festival. She witnessed the shooting.

TIMELINE: Timeline of events as Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting unfolded

"We heard people screaming. It was all chaotic. And we just started running, literally for our lives. So very, very terrifying," explains Blundo.

Blundo hopes the festival returns next year, so she can volunteer again. The reason why? "I'm not going to let evil win. This was a very evil person, who made a very terrible, senseless decision to do that. And he can't win. We need to win," says Blundo.

For more information about the Gilroy Foundation's Gilroy Garlic Festival Victim's Relief Fund, click here.
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