Posted On 29 Jul 2019
GILROY, Calif. — The gunman who killed three people and wounded a dozen more at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California was an angry 19-year-old who had recently waded into the world of white supremacy.
Santino William Legan, who was shot dead by police Sunday before he could do more damage, posted online about an 1890 racist manifesto, “Might is Right or The Survival of the Fittest.”
Its author used the pseudonym Ragnar Redbeard and argued that only strength and violence determined what is morally right. The work, which is filled with misogyny and anti-Semitic rhetoric, is a staple among neo-Nazis.
“Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard,” Legan posted on his Instagram page, NBC News confirmed.
Legan was also apparently no fan of the festival, a three-day food fair that began in 1979 to celebrate the local garlic industry — and which was in walking distance from his home on a tree-lined street in Gilroy.
“Ayyy garlic festival time,” his post read. “Come get wasted on overpriced s—.”
Below that was a post from someone named futboieden, which read “when you get too wasted and accidentally shoot up the festival.”
Just who futboieden was remained unclear a day after the nation was grappling with yet another mass shooting. This one claimed the lives of 6-year-old Stephen Romero, a 13-year-old girl, and a man in his 20s. The names of the other two victims were not released.
Investigators also said they were looking into reports that Legan might have had an accomplice but said that had not been confirmed. They said Legan legally purchased the AK-47-style assault rifle that he used in the shooting in Nevada.
Legan was from a family of boxers, coached along with his brothers by their father, Tom.
Neighbors said the family converted its garage into a boxing gym and the boys were often seen sparring with each other.
“I’m so confused and hurt for the parents to go through this,” said neighbor Elia Scettrini, 65, who lives two doors away and teaches Spanish at Gilroy High School.
Scettrini said Legan just graduated from high school and described the family as friendly and polite.
Police on Monday could be seen carrying several bags of evidence out of the family home and searching a car parked outside.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the county’s best-known food festivals and has been held for 41 years. It draws hundreds of thousands of paying visitors every year.
Ingram reported from Gilroy, and Zadrozny and Siemaszko from New York.