FBI: Gilroy gunman was exploring ‘violent ideologies’; had ‘target list’

Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

GILROY (AP/KRON) – A law enforcement officials says the FBI is opening a domestic terrorism investigation into the attack at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

At this time the motive of the Gilroy Garlic Festival gunman, 19-year-old Santino William Legan, remains unknown.

John Bennett, FBI Special Agent in Charge with the San Francisco Field Division, said in a press conference Tuesday that while the FBI has not made a final investigation conclusion into the motive, it has determined that Legan was exploring “violent ideologies.”

Officials said they also discovered a list of “potential targets of violence” nationwide, with organizations including religious institutions, federal buildings, courthouses, and political organizations of major political parties.

According to Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee, Legan was wearing a bulletproof-type vest when he fired approximately 39 rounds during the shooting.

Smithee said Legan was hit by police officers’ gunfire multiple times.

He added that none of the victims were struck by friendly fire.

Legan shot and killed three people – Sunday at the festival – including two children – before shooting and killing himself.

The three victims are 6-year-old Stephen Romero, 13-year-old Keyla Salazar, and 25-year-old Trevor Irby.

Police believe Legan fired randomly Sunday, killing three people, after cutting through a fence to get into the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

The FBI has described Legan as “kind of a loner” and said much of his life was shrouded in mystery.

Police said Legan was heard to be “really angry” as he opened fire during the last day of the festival with an assault-style rifle.

The SKS, an “AK-47 type” rifle, was purchased legally in Nevada on July 9, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said, adding that his understanding is that Legan purchased the weapon himself.

A gun shop in Fallon, Nevada posted on social media Monday, saying the gunman ordered the rifle used in the shooting online.

Big Mike’s Guns and Ammo said on Facebook, the store would never sell a firearm to “anyone who acted wrong or looks associated with any bad group like white power.”

It is believed that Legan, though originally from Gilroy, had been living with family members in Nevada, Smithee said, adding that he does not know how long Legan had been back in California.

Legan had apparently just graduated high school last year, according to a witness who said he went to the same school as him.

“We all knew of him. He graduated last year, I believe. Nothing really out of the ordinary, you would think,” he said.

When asked if the shooter seemed angry or if anything seemed amiss back then when he was in high school, the witness said he’d seen him walk by and “he seemed just like a completely normal guy.”

Legan appears to have posted two photos on Instagram the day of the shooting, including one just minutes before he opened fire.

Legan’s since-deleted Instagram account says he is Italian and Iranian.

It also shows a photo he posted earlier depicting Smokey the Bear in front of a “fire danger” sign.

In the caption, Legan said to read “Might is Right,” a book published in the 1800s.

The philosophy says that whoever is strongest is morally right.

Minutes before the shooting, he posted a photo from the festival: “Ayyy garlic festival time” and “come get wasted on overpriced (stuff).”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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