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September 26, 2022

Festival shooting victims laid to rest

Romero and Salazar in SJ, Irby in NY

All three of the victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting that took place on July 28 have been laid to rest in their home cities.


Stephen Romero, 6, Keyla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, 25, lost their lives July 28 when a gunman opened fire on the last day of the festival. Romero and Salazar, both San Jose residents, had funeral services in the city; Salazar’s service was on Aug. 6 and Romero’s on Aug. 12.


Salazar’s service was held on what would have been her 14th birthday.


Irby’s funeral was held in his hometown of Romulus, NY on Aug. 8. He had been living in Santa Cruz with his girlfriend when he attended the festival. His friends from college created a GoFundMe to help his family with funeral expenses and the cost to get Trevor’s body back to New York.


Irby’s friend, Steven Wyrosdick, said in an interview with this newspaper in the days following the shooting that Irby had loved the Pittsburgh Steelers football team . Wyrosdick said Irby’s room had been filled with Steelers memorabilia. In videos of Irby’s service, his friends can be seen wearing Steelers jerseys while carrying his casket.


Salazar’s family held a Catholic mass at the Guadalupe Church in San Jose. Romero’s family held a Catholic mass and a Christian service at Redemption Church.


Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo attended Romero’s and Salazar’s services. He said he was invited by the families.


“There’s no more difficult moment as an elected official attending a funeral for a 6-year-old boy,” said Alejo. “It was heartbreaking, it was moving, and it’s hard to find any words that could bring any relief for his mother and father.”


Alejo said Romero’s service was attended by 300-400 people, with friends and family speaking about their fondest memories of the young boy. Alejo said Romero’s young friends talked to the crowd about their friend, his favorite music and his energetic personality.


The boy’s mother suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen when her son was struck with the fatal bullet, and has been released from the hospital.


Luis said that at Salazar’s service, her older relatives spoke about her life. He felt for her mother, who was filled with emotion as her daughter’s small casket was carried away.


“I think it’s a reminder for all of us that when it comes to these mass shootings, it hits the youngest in our community,” said Luis. “In these moments of tragedy, the best thing we can do is show we’re united.”

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