Santino William Legan shot and killed three people and wounded several others in at attack at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, police 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 Keyla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, a recent college graduate.
The shooting Sunday evening happened on the final day of the annual charity event at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, and less than an hour before closing.
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.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said Sunday night that Legan “used a tool to cut through a fence to gain access” to the festival grounds where he opened fire. Dozens of shots were reported. Three were killed and 13 were injured. Also killed was 19-year-old Legan, when he shot at the three responding Gilroy Police officers, they returned fire.
Monday, Smithee said Monday that the shooting occurred near the end of the three-day festival which draws up to 100,000. When the shooter opened fire, there were still several thousand people at the park, Smithee said, adding that the event relies on the volunteer efforts of thousands. He said that police had everything in place with tight security. He said Legan cut though a fence to gain access to the site. When he began firing, police officers armed with handguns “engaged” with Legan who fired at them.
“Despite being outgunned,” he said, officers were able to stop him by shooting him dead. It’s reported he was shot in the head.
Those three officers, all detectives, are on leave during the investigation. Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee called the three “heroes.”
“All three of these officers are incredibly humble …I think they’re heroes. I don’t think they view themselves that way. I think they view themselves as doing their jobs.”
With a combined half century-plus of law enforcement service, the officers are Eric Cryar, Robert Basuino, and Hugo Del Moral.
At a media briefing Thursday, Smithee said the officers were likely not “excited about being in the limelight,” but nonetheless need to be recognized.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am,” Smithee said Monday. “We had thousands of people there in a small area (and) it could have been much worse.”
It’s not yet made public who many shots were fired and by whom.
Here’s what you need to know:
Det. Eric Cryar is a 23-Year Veteran
He’s been involved with a number of high-profile cases and was a lead investigator in the officer-involved “in custody death” of Steven Juarez. Cryar is married to the author Zen Cryar DeBrucke. She assured friends her husband was okay.
“Hi everyone. Eric is fine. He’s safe and doing his job. I’m fine as well and grateful for such an amazingly competent person being my guy.”
Hugo Del Moral is a 17-Vear-veteran
Moral, on the job for 17 years, has also been involved in high-profile cases. In the early 2000s, he was tasked with tackling vandalism and tagging. The City of Gilroy issued a press release about mass arrests associated with his case work as an Anti-Crime Team investigator. Del Moral does a Cross-Fit and was featured in a local magazine.
Robert Basuino is a 13-Year Veteran
According to the Gilroy Police Officer’s Association, Det. Rob Basuino, who sits on the board, has been with the Gilroy Police department since 2004. He’s a former sexual assault detective. Basuino is an investigator with the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team Task Force in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley’s tech crime team.