The shooting Sunday night on the final day of the annual charity event at Christmas Hill Park left three dead; 6-year-old Stephen Romero. Romero’s grandmother and mother were also shot, but are expected to survive. A GoFundMe was established to help the family pay for the child’s funeral. The two others killed are Keyla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, a recent college graduate. Twelve were injured. Legan was killed by police.
Police said Legan was armed with an AK 47-type assault rifle that was “purchased legally” in Nevada on July 9. Legan had rented an apartment in the Nevada desert, hundreds of miles away from his hometown of Gilroy.
A motive for the shooting has not yet been made public, but a search warrant executed at an apartment he’d rented in in Walker City, Nevada found a a gun light, knife, bulletproof vest, gas mask, empty ammo boxes, gun pamphlets, an empty Valium bottle, electronic devices and media on white supremacy, according to the Mineral County District Attorney’s Office. State and federal officials and agents believe he may have had plans for a larger attack.
The search warrant also turned up what’s reported to be a “mysterious letter from Virginia.”
That could be Virginia Holden Baylor, Legan’s grandmother. The adopted daughter of actor William Holden, Virginia married Legan’s maternal grandfather, an Iranian-born economics professor. Legan’s mother is their daughter, which makes Legan the great-grandson of actor William Holden.
Here’s what you need to know:
Santino William Legan is the Great-Grandson of Hollywood Screen Legend William Holden
On the Instagram page Legan created just days before the killings, among two cryptic posts that may provide some clues as to his motive, he shared a third photo of his maternal grandfather, Ali Ashgar Vahabzadeh.
The Instagram page was removed moments after Heavy located it but not before screenshots were taken. In the post about his maternal grandfather he wrote a caption about him anglicizing his name to Ali Baylor from his original Iranian name.
An obituary from the Ventura County Star says Baylor also went by the name Allen O. Baylor and was born in Iran before teaching as an economics professor at the University of Texas in the 1970s, California Lutheran University and UCLA.
His daughter Ardis Baylor is Legan’s mother. It turns out, Legan is a descendant of a 1940s-era Hollywood legend, actor William Holden.
Ali Baylor, his grandfather, married Virginia Gaines Holden. She is the daughter of Hollywood actress Brenda Marshall, whose birth name was Ardis Ankerson. Marshall had a daughter, Virginia, with actor Richard Gaines, who starred in the classic film Double Indemnity. Marshall later married actor William Holden who adopted her daughter Virginia.
Virginia Holden married Baylor and the couple had a daughter, Ardis Baylor; Santino William Legan’s mother.
Virginia Holden Baylor is now 81 and living in New York City. She had one acting role according to IMDb.
Santino William Legan’s mother is named for her grandmother, Brenda Marshall, aka Ardis Ankerson. Ardis Baylor’s sister Mary Baylor had posts on her Facebook page about the family connection to Hollywood royalty but has since shuttered her account.
William Holden died in 1981. He left his estate to his family, including his adopted daughter Virginia Gaines Holden Baylor, the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter Santino William Legan’s grandmother.
Police have not said what’s contained in the “mysterious” letter from “Virginia to Santino” found in Legan’s belongings.
Virginia Holden Baylor wrote a book about having Holden as her father,’Growing Up with William Holden: A Memoir,’ which is apparently quite a rare find; the paperback is selling for nearly $1,300 on Amazon.