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FBI Investigating Gilroy Shooting As Domestic Terrorism

SubverseAug 8, 2019, 6:16:34 PM
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By: Tarik Johnson

The FBI is now investigating the July 28th Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting that left 4 people dead, including two children, and 16 people wounded, as domestic terrorism case. FBI officials revealed that gunman, Santino William Legan, age 19, had a “target list.” At a news conference John F. Bennett, special agent in charge with the San Francisco FBI, said the list had Religious institutions, Federal Buildings, Court Houses, Political Organizations and the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Festival-goers described Legan as firing "somewhat randomly" at the crowd. Sixteen others were injured in the shooting, including Stephen's mother and grandmother who were at the festival with him.

Before the attack, Legan urged his instagram followers to read a book popular with white supremacists. The final caption in a picture of the entrance to Christmas Hill Park, Legan wrote, “Ayyy garlic festival time” and “Come get wasted on overpriced” items. Legan was wearing a bullet-resistant vest when he fired 39 rounds at festival-goers with a legally bought AK-47 style rifle. Officers Eric Cryar, Hugo Del Moral, and Robert Basuino were patrolling in the vicinity, and after striking Legan “multiple times,” he fatally shot himself.

Authorities found a 75-round drum magazine for the rifle, retaining 71 rounds. He also had two 40-round magazines and an additional 40-round magazine was near him, police said.

Gilroy Police Department Chief, Scot Smithee said a shotgun was discovered in a car that belonged to the suspect. A backpack was found containing two loose rounds for the rifle, a rifle scope, a flashlight, a shovel, and additional ammunition. Authorities said Tuesday they still do not have a motive.

According to CNN, police also searched a Nevada home that they believe Legan rented. They seized material that pertained to different competing political ideologies, and authorities have yet to nail down a clear ideology to which Santino Legan subscribed. Former classmates said he didn't stand out, a Gilroy High School employee described him as a troublemaker who was "difficult to manage" when he actually showed up for class. Julissa Contreras, a witness, told CNN that he didn't seem angry as he opened fire on innocent people and "he seemed very well-versed in what he was doing and he seemed confident in his use of the gun."

Legan’s parents wrote in a statement on Tuesday that they were “deeply shocked and horrified” by what their son had done. “We have never and would never condone the hateful thoughts and ideologies that led to this event, and it is impossible to reconcile this with the son we thought we knew. Our son is gone, and we will forever have unanswered questions as to how or why any of this has happened.” 

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