The gunman who killed three people and wounded about a dozen more at the Gilroy Garlic Festival Sunday evening has been identified as Santino Williams Legan, the 19-year-old grandson of the late Santa Clara County Supervisor Thomas Legan.
Police this morning flocked to the Legan family’s Gilroy home, where they rifled through a gray Nissan Altima parked along the curb on the 300 block of Churchill Place.
Neighbors say a SWAT team showed up to the light gray house around midnight, about six to seven hours after Legan opened fire on festival-goers with an assault-style rifle before being fatally gunned down by police.
According to his May 2018 obituary, Legan’s grandfather, Tom, was a West Point graduate who served as a “captain in Korea as a nuclear weapons officer and completed his military service in Germany.” After a stint as marketing director for Kaiser Cement, the Republican policymaker served for two terms as Santa Clara County supervisor.
In 1987, Tom Legan and three of his fellow supervisors were sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $2,000 for defying a court order to provide additional cells for male inmates in the local jails. A year later, during his bid for re-election, he was acquitted of charges that he raped his eldest daughter six years earlier, per the Los Angeles Times.
Tom Legan’s tenure on the Board of Supervisors overlapped with that of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), who stood alongside police and fire officials at a Monday morning presser about Sunday’s mass shooting.
Santino Legan’s brother, Rosino Legan, made a name for himself as a high school boxer in Watsonville, according to news reports. Five years ago, according to San Jose Inside’s sister newspaper the Gilroy Dispatch, Rosino competed in the USA Boxing National Championships in Spokane, Washington.
An Instagram account under Santino’s name that’s since been taken down depicts a photo of the garlic festival and the caption, “Ayyy garlic festival time. Come get wasted on overpriced sh*t.” Police got the initial calls about the shooting about an hour after the image was shared online.
In a post shared to the account a short time earlier, there’s a photo of Smokey the Bear alongside a fire warning sign and a caption that read: “Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to cater to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” It also plugged Might Is Right, a 19th century text of apocryphal authorship that Rolling Stone calls a staple of the white supremacist canon.
Authorities say Santino Legan on July 9 legally bought the weapon he used Sunday to kill a 22-year-old man, 13-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy identified as Stephen Romero. Witnesses say Legan was wearing some kind of militaristic get-up during the attack.
People who went to school with the shooter are telling reporters that he seemed unremarkable. By many accounts, a normal guy—whatever that means.
In a press conference this morning, police declined to speculate about Legan’s motive for the massacre. But they confirmed that they continue to search for a potential accomplice.
FBI agent Craig Fair told reporters that his team is working on piecing together a clearer portrait of Legan’s motivation, organizational ties and ideological leanings.