Heroic 10-year-old Girl Stared Gilroy Garlic Fest Shooter in the Eye While Protecting Toddler From Gunfire: 'She Was Brave'

A 10-year-old girl who stared the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter in the eye was hailed a hero for grabbing a toddler and hiding him under a table as gunfire tore through the tent.

The girl was at the Honey Ladies stand when the gunman, since named as 19-year-old Santino William Legan, approached and opened fire, striking the parents of the three-year-old boy with her, who own the business.

Candice Marquez, the girl's great aunt, was working at the stand with her sister, Cheryl Low. They had gone to the toilet before the shooting started at the festival in California on Sunday.

"She was brave. She grabbed him and put him under a table," Marquez told The Associated Press of her niece, who she said looked the gunman in the eye, but that he did not shoot.

Speaking to CBS's This Morning, Marquez said: "She's a hero."

Low told CBS that the two bosses, who were both shot, survived.

They are now out of surgery. They are stable but the husband, who was shot three times, is in critical condition. The wife was shot once.

When the women left the toilets, they heard what they initially thought were firecrackers.

"As soon as we stepped out of the port-a-potties, we turned and I saw a guy with a high-powered rifle, and he was putting his clip in, and I knew right there," Marquez said.

Low said the shooting appeared to be random, and that he approached the Honey Ladies tent because that was where most people were at that time.

Legan killed three people and injured at least 15 more during his assault on the festival before he was shot dead by police. He cut through a fence to enter.

"There absolutely would've been more bloodshed, I believe, with the number of people and the small area that they were in," Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee told a news conference.

"I think it's very, very fortunate that they were able to engage him as quickly as they did."

The deceased victims were named as Stephen Romero, 6, Keyla Salaza, 13, and Trevor Irby, 25.

"My son had his whole life to live and he was only six. That's all I can say," Stephen's father Alberto Romero told NBC Bay Area.

The shooting suspect posted on Instagram about a white supremacist book before he headed to the festival. His account was taken down.

That book, Might Is Right or The Survival of the Fittest, was published in the late 19th century and espouses, Social Darwinism, eugenics, anti-democracy, and the primacy of Anglo-Saxon men.

Legan's motive for the shooting is under investigation. He reportedly told a witness to the shooting that he was "really angry."

Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting California shooter
A makeshift memorial is seen outside the site of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, after a mass shooting took place at the event yesterday, on July 29, 2019 in Gilroy, California. Three victims were killed, two of them children, and at least a dozen were wounded before police officers killed the suspect. Mario Tama/Getty Images
Heroic 10-year-old Girl Stared Gilroy Garlic Fest Shooter in the Eye While Protecting Toddler From Gunfire: 'She Was Brave' | U.S.