SACRAMENTO — In the panic following the gunfire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival and thousands wondered what was happening, only a few had the reaction of ‘not again.’
“Oh man, this is not happening again,” Alicia Olive recalls thinking on Sunday as she escaped the mass shooting in Gilroy.
Again, as in this is the second mass shooting Olive has survived.
On October 1, 2017, she escaped the mass shooting at the Route 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas. She says she “went into a really deep depression,” following that tragic incident.
“I would go into either, if it’s a bar or sometimes just a crowded area and something about it, it just, I start to panic,” Olive said.
Olive says it took almost two years after Vegas but she was just started to feel safe in public places.
But then she came to Gilroy with two friends she met in a Las Vegas shooting support group.
Now all three of them are part of a small group of Americans with a distinction none of them wants; they’ve now survived two mass shootings.
“After the Vegas shooting, I felt like I would be there again, and it happened,” Olive said. “Angry. It makes you angry.”
Olive says she was near the concert stage where the shooter entered the festival. She and her friends were leaving but before they hit the exit, gunshots rang out.
“I said, ‘I can’t believe this is happening again.’ We were trying to find somewhere to get cover,” she said.
Now, her somber message for others? Massacres can happen anywhere.
But she says accepting tragedy as inevitable isn’t good enough. She is a living call to action.
“We can’t tell that to the families that lost someone. Say, ‘oh well that’s life, that’s America,'” she said. “It’s not enough. It’s time to say enough is enough.”