Wendy Towner was giving out samples of honey when she heard shots fired at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.
She was keeping an eye on her 3-year-old son who was at a bounce house across from her “Honey Ladies” stand. When bullets started flying, she confronted the shooter—because she needed to save her boy.
“What the heck are you doing?” she screamed at him — but in more colorful language.
Towner said the gunman turned toward her and opened fire, hitting both her and her husband. Despite the danger, she accomplished her goal — her child survived.
Towner was shot once, and her husband was shot four times. He will need to stay at the hospital for at least one more week to heal properly. Towner also remains in the hospital.
Towner said that at one point, the shooter walked over to her and asked her if she was ok, but he meant it in a sinister way.
“The shooter walks up and he asks, ‘are you ok?’ But he’s not asking if we’re ok,” she said. “He’s very cold. He’s very calm and very deliberate. He’s asking, ‘are you alive, do I need to finish this?’”
Towner said in that moment she did not move, and the gunman seemed to move on from her.
When her 3-year-old son ran over to her, an 11-year-old girl grabbed Towner’s son and saved him.
“That’s the most joy I’ve ever had in my life,” she said. “He’s ok, I know where he’s at.”
Towner, who began physical therapy this week, has a long recovery ahead but is grateful that things did not turn out worse.
"I don't have any anger towards the [shooter], I think he is a troubled youth," Towner said.
"Like I told my husband, I'm at peace. I'm at peace with how this turned out. My son was not injured. He's ok. I can walk. My husband can walk. I have my legs, and we can make it through this."