Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting Suspect Reportedly Identified as Santino William Legan

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 29, 2019US News
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Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting Suspect Reportedly Identified as Santino William Legan
Police officers carry evidence bags from the family home of Gilroy Garlic Festival gunman Santino William Legan in Gilroy, California, on July, 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The man who opened fire at a festival in California on Sunday, July 28 was reportedly identified as Santino William Legan, 19.

Police officials have not identified the suspect by name. According to CBS, law enforcement sources identified the suspect as Legan. The Los Angeles Times was among the other outlets citing a source of sources identifying the shooter as Legan.

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee told reporters late Sunday that a manhunt was underway for the suspect, who fatally shot three people and wounded at least 15 others.

Officials later said the suspect was killed by authorities shortly after he opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

“It’s just incredibly sad and disheartening that an event that does so much good for our community has to suffer from a tragedy like this,” Smithee added.

According to KPIX, authorities searched the home of Legan’s father in Gilroy early Monday morning.

Pictures showed officers emerging from the home carrying several paper bags.

Other officers were combing a wooded area near the location of the festival for clues.

Smithee said that witnesses told authorities there may have been at least one other person involved in the shooting but police have not confirmed that to be the case as of yet.

NTD Photo
FBI personnel pass a ticket booth at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 29, 2019, the morning after a man with a gun killed at least three people, including a 6-year-old boy, and wounding about 15 others. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“We have one suspect that we know is (dead), and some witnesses reporting there may be a second suspect, although we don’t know if a second suspect was engaged in any shooting, or in a support role,” Smithee told reporters at a late night news conference. He said the killer cut through a fence to enter the festival and reports indicated Legan had posted online before the festival complaining it was “overpriced.”

Singer Jack van Breen told KPIX that he and other members of his band hid under the stage when shots were fired. He said he heard someone shout, “Why are you doing this?” and the man with the gun responded, “Because I’m really angry.”

Taylor Pellegrini, 25, told the Times she was sitting near the food court with her boyfriend and friends when she heard what she initially thought were firecrackers but soon realized were gunshots.

“People were yelling, ‘Active shooter, active shooter!’ and some people tripped and stayed on the ground so bullets didn’t hit them,” she said. “People were under tables and dropping their phones and whatever they had in their hands.”

People who live near the Legan family said they were good people. “I know the parents. They’re very nice, always friendly. I talk to them every time I see them. Just a great family,” Kyle Dickinson told ABC 7.

Kawika Palacios said that conversations with Legan never indicated he’d commit a mass shooting.

NTD Photo
Edward Jacobucci, an evacuee, leaves the scene of a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California on July 28, 2019. (Philip Pacheco/AFP/Getty Images)

Palacios said that Legan and his brother would train in their garage. “I think boxing…they were fighters. They trained for a while,” Palacios said. An article in the Gilroy Dispatch in 2017 indicated that Legan was an amateur boxer training for the 2020 Summer Olympics who trained with three brothers under the guidance of their father.

People who went to Gilroy High School while Legan was attending said he did not stand out.

“I never had any classes with him or anything, so we never really got acquainted, I just have definitely seen him around school,” Josh Carman, who was two years ahead of Legan, told CNN. “He wasn’t the type of person that everyone knew, but he didn’t stand out as being too abnormal.”

“[Legan] seemed like a normal guy. I don’t believe anyone expected anyone to do something like this, especially in Gilroy,” added Tanner Eastus, who still attends the school.

Local, state, and national officials reacted to the shooting, including Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Donald Trump.

“This is nothing short of horrific. Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community. My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops,” Newsom said in a statement late Sunday.

“Law Enforcement is at the scene of shootings in Gilroy, California. Reports are that shooter has not yet been apprehended. Be careful and safe!” Trump wrote around the same time.

At a bill signing on Monday, Trump asked God to comfort victims and their families.

“While families were spending time together at a local festival, a wicked murderer opened fire and killed three innocent citizens, including a young child. We grieve for their families and we ask that God will comfort them with his overflowing mercy and grace. We’re praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital. Some very, very serious injuries,” Trump said.

“We thank the brave members of law enforcement—they never let us down—who swiftly killed the shooter. We reaffirm our national will to answer violence with the courage, determination, and resolve of one American family. We will continue to work together as communities and as citizens to stop evil, prevent violence, and protect the safety of all Americans.”

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