By Ciara Nugent
July 29, 2019

A six-year-old boy was among the three people killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a food festival in northern California.

Steven Romero, who turned six last month, was “always happy and always wanting to have fun,” his father Alberto Romero told NBC. He was set to begin first grade later this year, Romero added.

Steven Romero was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival with his grandmother and mother, who were both injured in the shooting, NBC reports.

A total of 15 people were injured in the shooting, which began around 5:40 p.m. local time, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee told reporters Sunday.

Alberto Romero was at home with his nine year-old daughter at the time of the shooting, he told NBC. “There’s nothing I really can do besides try to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is,” he said. “My son had his whole life to live and he was only six. That’s all I can say.”

Maribel Romero, Steven’s other grandmother, told ABC that her grandson was “a loving boy,” describing him as “always kind, happy and, you know, playful.”

“It has to be someone really sick,” she said of the shooting suspect. “Because shooting a kid … it’s a family event. I just hope there is justice and they catch the last person or the other person and that there’s justice. I want justice for my grandson.”

Police shot and killed a suspect who was carrying an assault-style rifle, Smithee told reporters. Authorities believe the shooter cut through a fence to avoid security and access the festival. Witnesses told police there may have been a second shooter, Smithee added.

Write to Ciara Nugent at ciara.nugent@time.com.

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