The shooting Sunday night on the final day of the annual charity event at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy left three dead, 12 injured and the suspected shooter, Legan, killed by police.
Killed was 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. Also killed were Keyla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, a recent college graduate.
On the last day of the popular food festival, and nearing the closing hour, Legan, outfitted in camouflage and armed with an assault rifle he bought legally in Nevada – but transported to California illegally – just weeks ago, he cut his way into the park through a fence and opened fire near a stage where a rock bank was performing. Dozens of shots rang out.
But as he fired, he was soon met with three police officers armed with handguns. He fired at them and they fired back, killing him. On police radio scanner recordings reviewed by Heavy, and based on witness statements, police mounted a search for a possible second suspect. But as of Monday morning, police not only have not announced a capture, Gilroy Police Chief Scott Smithee said “we really don’t know” if there is a second suspect.
A motive for the shooting has not yet been made public.
One witness who told reporters they’d come face to face with the gunman and asked why he was doing this was told, “Because I’m really angry.”
But Legan may have shared motives on an Instagram page. One he created just days before the killings. In his profile, he writes he is an Italian-Iranian-American and a graduate of Gilroy High School. And just three posts and one follower.
Here’s what you need to know:
With Just 3 Posts, Legan’s Very Recent Instagram Page, Which Was Shut Down Just Minutes After Heavy Was Able to Take Screenshots, May Hold Clues as to His Motive
If Santino William Legan has an online social media presence, it’s well camouflaged. So it’s more inexplicable that he should choose to create an Instagram page just a few days before the mass shooting police said he perpetrated. The Gilroy Garlic Festival is a time-honored fair that celebrates the centuries-old bulbous cousin of the onion used in food preparation and as a medicine.
Why anywhere, but why in particular did he choose to open fire at the garlic festival?
In his page with just three posts, including one post made days before the shooting and two posted on Sunday, the one most disturbing appears to have been posted shortly before the shooting, minutes perhaps. Based on the time stamp, and when Heavy accessed the image, it may have been posted at around 5 p.m. Sunday. The vantage point appears to have been from a short distance looking in to Christmas Hill Park.
Legan wrote: “Ayyy garlic festival time. Come get wasted on overpriced shit.”
Suggesting the Book ‘Might Is Right’ Should be Read in the Next Post, Legan Writes That Caption on an Image of Smokey the Bear Warning of Fire
In this post, which came directly after the previous one, Legan suggest viewers read the far right and very fringe book Might Is Right purported to be written by the pseudonym-named Ragnar Redbeard. The work, reported to have been written in 1890, is a known white supremacist manifesto that individualist anarchist, revisionist historian and Holocaust denier James J. Martin called, “…one of the most incendiary works ever to be published anywhere.”
Incendiary an apropos adjective as Legan published it with the well-known cartoon bear the mascot for how to prevent forest fires.
“Read ‘Might Is Right’ by Ragnar Redbeard,” Legan wrote. His caption further asked rhetorically, “Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?”
Mestizos is a term used to describe someone of mixed descent, but specifically white and Hispanic and/or white and Native Indian. He appeared to have used it in a derogatory manner.
According to ‘Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Subculture,’ the book ‘Might Is Right’ is said to expand on German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche’s “theories of master–slave morality and herd mentality …”
‘Might Is Right’ is described as espousing social Darwinism and includes misogynistic and racist principles “claiming that the woman and the family as a whole is the property of the man and proclaiming the innate superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race. The book also contains many strong anti-Semitic statements.”
Some have said he cannot be a white supremacist since he has an Iranian ancestor, but as a quick look at a globe reveals Iran is located in the Caucasus region.
The First Image is That of his Iranian-Born Grandfather, an Economics Scholar & Professor, Who ‘Anglicized’ His Name When Immigrating to the US from Surname Vahabzdaeh to Surname Baylor
Legan also shared a photo of his maternal grandfather, Ali Ashgar Vahabzdaeh, with a note 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, California Lutheran University and UCLA.
His daughter Ardis Baylor is Legan’s mother.