SAN FRANCISCO – A 19-year-old man was behind the shooting that left four people, including himself, dead over the weekend at a food festival in Gilroy, California, media reports said Monday, citing investigators.
Santino William Legan, a Gilroy resident, was shot dead by police shortly after he opened fire on Sunday at the festival.
Legan posted images of the Gilroy Garlic Festival on social media just before opening fire on people attending the outdoor event.
The gunman posted two messages critical of the festival and festivalgoers in an Instagram account created just four days before the mass shooting.
In one message, Legan, who identified himself as being of Italian and Iranian origin, said, “Ayyy garlic festival time Come get wasted on overpriced sh××.”
The second message said, “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 tw××s?”
The gunman killed three people and wounded 12 others, police said, revising the number of wounded downward from the initial figure of 15.
Legan avoided the metal detectors at the festival grounds by cutting through a fence and opening fire with an assault-type rifle.
Officers responded to the shooting in less than a minute, police said.
“We had many, many officers in the park at the time that this occurred as we do any day during a festival, which accounts for the very, very quick response time,” Gilroy police chief Scot Smithee said.
Smithee said investigators had not yet determined the motive for the shooting and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was working with local and state authorities on the case.
Legan legally purchased the assault rifle, of a type similar to an AK-47, in neighboring Nevada earlier this month, officials said.
One of the victims was identified as 6-year-old Stephen Romero, who lived with his family in San Jose, located about 53 kilometers (33 miles) from Gilroy.
The boy’s father, Alberto Romero, told NBC Bay Area that his son had been killed at the festival.
Gilroy, a rural city that is home to about 50,000 people, is the self-proclaimed “Garlic Capital of the World.”
The Gilroy Garlic Festival provides an opportunity for visitors to sample a wide variety of foods made with garlic, including garlic ice cream.
On Monday, President Donald Trump mentioned the shooting in Gilroy during an event at the White House.
The president said a “wicked murderer opened fire and killed three innocent citizens, including a young child,” in Gilroy.
“We grieve for their families and we ask that God will comfort them with his overflowing mercy and grace,” Trump said. “We are praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital, some very, very serious injuries. We thank the brave members of law enforcement – they never let us down – who swiftly killed the shooter.”