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California festival shooting raises concerns about Lollapalooza security

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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday she's confident the city and organizers have a robust security plan place for Lollapalooza this weekend, after a gunman killed three people at a popular festival in California Sunday.

"We are vigorously and aggressively reaching out, planning on drawing on federal resources to make sure there are no incidents here in Chicago," Lightfoot said.

According to local police, a 19-year-old gunman cut a fence to avoid security checkpoints at the Gilroy Garlic Festival before opening fire with an assault-style weapon Sunday. Police say he began shooting and random, killing a 13-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy and a man in his 20s, and injuring15 others.

Officers responding to the scene shot and killed the suspect in less than a minute, according to the Gilroy police chief.

The shooting comes just days before Lollapalloza is set to begin in Chicago. The three-day Gilroy Garlic Festival attracts more than 100,000 people. Lollapalooza usually sees about half a million people.

Asked whether Sunday's shooting in California will mean any changes to this years plan, Office of Emergency Management Director Rich Guidance said it will be discussed during an upcoming training.

"We have a workshop that is scheduled for tomorrow that's been on the books for a while now and we go over a verity of scenarios that take place not only around the country but around the world," Guidance said.

In years past, security has guarded the perimeter to watch for people sneaking into the shows, among other things.

But In addition to the fencing around Grant Park, there are 330 cameras watching for anything suspicious, more than 900 private security guards, plus a vast number of uniformed and undercover Chicago officers patrolling the park and surrounding neighborhoods.

"We have a layered approach to public safety planning," Guidance said.

Back in 2017, Lolla may have been seen as a potential target. Just two months before a gunman killed nearly 60 people at an outdoor concert from his Las Vegas hotel room, he reserved two rooms at the Blackstone hotel, which would have given him a full view of Lolla in Grant Park.

A number of hotels increased their security this year, especially those that have rooms overlooking the park. In a statement. Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association President and CEO Michael Jacobson said, "...each individual hotel has their own detailed security plan in place to ensure that visitors can safely enjoy everything that our city has to offer."

Meanwhile in California, police are still trying to find a second suspect in connection with the Gilroy shooting.

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