A mass shooter killed three people including a six-year-old boy and injured dozens of others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
Santino William Legan, 19, opened fire with his “AK-47-type” assault rifle that he purchased “legally” in Nevada on July 9, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said at a Monday press conference.
Police believe Legan cut through a fence near the creek with a tool to enter onto the event grounds in Gilroy, which is about 30 miles south of San Jose. There were no security cameras at the festival, according to Smithee.
As the horror unfolded, officers at the festival quickly engaged the heavily armed Legan in a fierce gun battle and took him out, he said.
“Despite the fact that they were outgunned, using their handguns against his rifle, they were able to fatally wound the suspect,” Smithee said of the officers.
The Gilroy Police Department said 12 other people were injured.
The police chief declined to name the victims. They were later identified by family and community members as Stephen Romero, 6; Kayla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, 25, a biology major from Romulus, N.Y., who graduated from Keuka College in 2017.
A now-defunct Instagram account bearing Legan’s name was created last week and posted two messages shortly before the shooting.
One included a photo of people at the festival and the angry caption, “Ayyy garlic festival time Come get wasted on overpriced sh–.”
Another paired a photo of a Smokey the Bear fire danger sign with the caption, “Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white tw–s?”
2) That same post by the attacker also promoted Might is Right, a century-old book that makes the case for social Darwinist ethics and extreme sexism and racism. The book is seen by many as a philosophical pathway to fascism.
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) July 29, 2019
Police had been hunting a second suspect since the shooting, but as of Monday morning, police not only have not announced a capture, Smithee said “we really don’t know” if there is a second suspect.
A motive for the shooting has not yet been made public.
Musician Jack Van Breen was performing with his band TinMan when he heard a pop and saw a man wearing a green shirt and handkerchief around his neck firing into the food area.
Van Breen dove for cover as someone reportedly asked, “Why are you doing this?”
“Because I’m really angry,” the gunman replied, according to Van Breen.
Monday morning, several police cars were seen outside the home of Legan’s father in Gilroy, a city of about 48,000 people.
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