Santino William Legan purchased the assault rifle that was used to gun down children and others at a food festival legally in Nevada. But when he brought it into California, he was breaking the law, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, citing federal law enforcement sources.
The 19-year-old was shot and killed by police Sunday after he opened fire at a crowd of people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, among the world’s largest food fairs. Legan is accused of killing three people and wounding several others in a mass shooting at the event that draws nearly 100,000 people. 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, dead. Several others were injured in the chaos after shots were fired, but were not shot, authorities said.
The dead include 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 a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s, police said. They have not yet been named.
The weapon used was initially described as an AK47. It was not, though the specific make may hardly matter to the people shot, wounded, injured and traumatized.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Semi-Automatic Rifle Used to Gun Down Innocent People Was Purchased Legally 350 Miles Northeast of Gilroy, in Fallon, Nevada
Gilroy Police Chief Scott Smithee said Legan purchased a “SKS …an AK47-style” assault rifle legally in Nevada earlier this month. But it turns out the gun was not a SKS, a Soviet-made weapon, or an AK. It was an WASR-10 semiautomatic rifle. He purchased it on July 9 at Big Mike’s Guns & Ammo in Fallon, Nevada. Legan has a relative who lives in Fallon, it was reported.
And while it was a legal purchase there, Legan violated California’s ban on assault weapons when he brought it into the state, the Chronicle reported, citing federal law officials.
Gilroy said Legan “used a tool to cut through a fence to gain access” to the festival grounds.
The Gun Shop Owner Who Sold the Rifle to Legan Says he’s ‘So Very Sorry For the Families’ & is ‘Heartbroken.’ He Said Legan Ordered the Gun Online
Meanwhile, the owner of the gun shop that sold the semi-automatic rifle to the 19-year-old said he’s heartbroken.
“We feel so very sorry for the Families, I am heartbroken this could ever happen. Please show only respect here. Good people have been hurt and this goes against everything I believe in. I have always said we will sell to good people and have done everything we can to make sure this happens. We obey the Laws, We are a small home business, we sell to people who we think are upstanding citizens to promote safe sport shooting. I pray to God for all the families. I did not know this individual. He ordered the rifle off my internet page. When I did see him, he was acting happy and showed no reasons for concern. I would never ever sell any firearm to anyone who acted wrong or looks associated with any bad group like white power. Everyone is my brother and sister and I am morning for the families. Mike.”
And he said, “The shooter in CA, I hope you rot in hell. We pray for the victims. My heart hurts for them and the young boy.”
Police Haven’t Provided a Motive For Violence on Innocent People at a Food Festival, But Legan May Have on His Instagram
Police have not offered a motive for the shooting. 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.” And Legan posted to Instagram some possible motives, however.
Santino Legan had an Instagram 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.
“Ayyy garlic festival time. Come get wasted on overpriced shit.”
Legan also posted about a fringe white supremacist book written in 1890. Noted indivualist anarchist, revisionist historian and Holocaust denier James J. Martin called, the book, “…one of the most incendiary works ever to be published anywhere.” Legan quoted from the book in a post accompanied by a Smokey the Bear sign about fire danger.
Legan wrote: “Read Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” Mestizos is a derogatory term used to describe someone of mixed descent, but specifically white and Hispanic and/or white and Native Indian.
According to the book Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Subculture, Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard was authored under a pseudonym. It is purported to expand on Friedrich Nietzsche’s “theories of master–slave morality and herd mentality …”
The book is described as being akin to 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.”