Santino William Legan Identified as Gunman from California Garlic Festival; Police Search for a Second Possible Suspect
On Sunday evening, a gunman opened fire at a food festival in Northern California. The shooter has since been identified and police are searching for a possible accomplice.
Over the weekend a man gained access to the Gilroy Garlic Festival and opened fire killing three people and injuring 15 more. A source has revealed that the shooter was identified as Santino William Legan, 19.
In a press conference on the same evening of the shooting, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee shared that the gunman was originally from Gilroy. Smithee said gunshots were heard at 5:41 p.m. causing police officers to react within a minute by fatally shooting the suspect.
DA’s Office, Local Agencies Open Family Assistance Center to Help Gilroy Shooting Victims pic.twitter.com/4HxSSWJRMb— Gilroy Police (@GilroyPD) July 29, 2019
WHAT THE SUSPECT USED FOR THE SHOOTING
The police chief revealed that the suspect had used “an AK-47-type gun” and shot people at the festival at random. Authorities believed the gunman gained access to the festival by cutting an opening in the fence bordering the parking area.
Legan couldn’t have gone through the main entrance as attendees had to undergo security bag checks and metal detector wands were used. No motive has been determined yet for the shooting, however, a number of news outlets reported that the shooter had referenced a white supremacist book on his Instagram account before the mass shooting.
Chief Smithee: It is believed that the shooter cut through the fence to gain access to the festival. #GilroyActiveShooter.— Gilroy Police (@GilroyPD) July 29, 2019
GUNMAN'S POSSIBLE MOTIVE
In one of his posts, Legan criticized the garlic festival. The post appeared to have been made on Sunday from the event as a crowd of attendees could be seen.
Another message on the same day criticized people of mixed racial heritage and referenced to a book popular among white supremacists. The gunman’s Instagram account has since been taken down.
SHOOTER'S FAMILY COOPERATING WITH POLICE
Hours after the shooting, officers visited Legan's father in Gilroy and the shooter’s family is cooperating with investigators. The police chief shared that they were currently searching for a possible second suspect.
Smithee revealed that a number of eyewitnesses claimed there was a second shooter. However, on Monday afternoon the police chief confessed that they “really don’t know” if that person exists.
THE THREE VICTIMS
Stephen Romero, 6, Keyla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, 25, were named as the three victims. Stephen’s father, Alberto Romero, mourned him saying: "My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6. That's all I can say."
The boy’s grandmother, Maribel Romero, described him as a “kind,” “happy,” and “playful” boy. She explained that she had stayed home on the day leaving Stephen to attend with his mother and another grandmother.
Both women were shot during the incident and were taken to the hospital. Gilroy is a city that houses around 50,000 people and is located 20 miles south of San Jose.
The three-day festival draws up to 100,000 attendees annually.
Chief Smithee: Gun shots were heard around 5:41pm and officers engaged #GilroyActiveShooter in less than a minute. Witnesses stated there may be a 2nd shooter, investigation continues.— Gilroy Police (@GilroyPD) July 29, 2019
Speaking about the possible accomplice, Smithee said on Sunday night:
“We don’t know whether that suspect was engaged in any shooting or whether they might have been in a support role for the person we accounted for.”
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