The Garlic Festival shooter went on a shopping trip to several local stores before carrying out the massacre, police have revealed.
Santino Legan, 19, ‘acted on his own’ and did not have an accomplice as previously suggested, Gilroy police chief Scot Smithee said during a press conference Tuesday.
Police have obtained footage from local shops which show Legan alone in the hours before Sunday’s rampage which killed three and injured 12.
They discovered items including a gas mask, bulletproof vest and empty boxes of ammunition, as well as reading material on white supremacy and radical Islam, federal law enforcement sources revealed.
Santino Legan, 19, (left in a yearbook photo) was identified as the gunman who opened fire on crowds at Sunday’s festival. He was shot dead by police within seconds of when he began firing an AK-47 he legally purchased in Nevada on July 9
The 19-year-old, is believed to have lived in a rundown triplex about 10 miles north of Hawthorne, Nevada, at the in the days before the shooting, according to law enforcement. When police searched the property they found the makings of a massive attack
Chief Smithee said: ‘Our investigation is leading us more and more to believe that there was not a second person involved. I don’t think I can say that with absolute certainty at this point because we’re still following up leads.
‘We have been able to track his movements around town leading up to the incident, including multiple different stores and locations that he visited prior to engaging in this shooting incident and in every single one of those cases we’ve been able to retrieve video and he was by himself, he was not with anybody else, so that is sort of supporting the thought now that he acted on his own.’
However he stressed police don’t want to discourage anybody from coming forward if they thought they had seen another suspect, adding: ‘We don’t want to rule that out as at least a possibility until we’ve exhausted every single lead that is provided to us.’
Asked what the gunman was up to before the shooting, he said: ‘I don’t have a lot of specific details but he went shopping at numerous stores in town. I don’t have that level of detail what he was purchasing, but those stores now have video and so the investigators have been able to retrace back from the time of the incident.’
Twelve people were also injured on Sunday when suspected gunman, Santino William Legan, 19, slipped into the annual festival and unloaded an assault-style weapon before police shot him dead. Festival-goers flee the scene after gun shots were fired
Keyla Salazar (left), 13, was shot dead during the shooting after she stayed to help an elderly relative. The oldest victim killed was Trevor Irby (right), 25, who graduated in 2017 from Keuka College in upstate New York
The youngest victim, Stephen Romero (pictured), described by his grandmother as a kind, happy and playful kid, had just celebrated his 6th birthday in June at Legoland in Southern California
The chief said he didn’t know if Legan had been buying things for the attack but said he had been shopping at ‘big box stores’. The chief also said police recovered a second gun from Legan’s abandoned car.
The shot gun had also been purchased in Nevada – along with the AK47-variant rifle he used to carry out the rampage which killed two children – Stephen Romero, six, Keyla Salazar, 13 – and 25-year-old Trevor Irby.
Police also found a ‘bag of additional ammunition’ dumped in the creek next to the festival fence, where Legan is said to have broken into the event on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, it emerged that Legan’s brother, Rosino Legan, was a successful high school boxer in Watsonville. In 2014, he competed in the USA Boxing National Championships in Spokane, Washington and was reported two years ago as training for the 2020 Olympics.
This photo shows an aerial view of emergency personnel walking among vendor booths at the site of the shooting the day before the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Initially police said 15 people were inured in the shooting but have now changed the number to 12. Of the injured ‘several’ have now been released from hospital but at least one victim and ‘maybe more than one’ are still in a ‘very serious’ condition, chief Smithee said.
Meanwhile the three ‘veteran’ police officers who managed to gun down Legan before he caused more carnage have been placed on administrative leave to recover from the trauma of the event.
Chief Smithee said: ‘I didn’t want to put them in the position of having to come back to work and deal with all of this. I think it’s a very emotional thing for them.’
On Monday night, hundreds of residents held a candlelight vigil to mourn the three victims killed in the shooting
‘We cannot let the b****** that did this tear us down,’ Mayor Roland Velasco (pictured) declared to cheers
Craig Fair, FBI Deputy Special Agent in charge, said investigators are still scouring Legan’s activites online but he they have ‘no reason to believe at this point’ that he was targeting minorities however it has not been ruled out as the motive. He added that there was ‘no early indication’ of what the motive might be.
Asked how they are hoping to determine Legan’s motive, special agent Fair said they are currently trying to get information off his phone, computer and other devices.
He said: ‘That is going to depend on a number of things, principally review of digital media historically has been very revealing in terms of somebody’s mindset, ideological beliefs, intentions.
‘We’ve got to get into computers, the towers, the thumb drives, the phone, to get a holistic picture of him and who he was in touch with, what sentiments and thoughts he shared with others or he catalogued for his own consumption.’
Asked how long this might take, he said: ‘It depends on how quickly we can get into the phone, it also depends on the ease with which we can enter into any of the other digital.’
Following the shooting, law enforcement experts called for event organizers to review their emergency plans to see if they can make additional safety improvements as the peak of summer and fair season brings open-air environments that are notoriously difficult to secure
Recommendations for an overwatch position and securing beyond the site of the event are similar to suggested improvements after the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. First repsonders at the scene on Sunday
The investigators wouldn’t be drawn on the since deleted Instagram account in which Legan apparently posted a picture from the Garlic Festival before the shooting and a picture of a Smokey Bear sign warning about fire danger with a caption that instructed people to read the book ‘Might is Right’, a far-right, white supremacist book.
Special agent Fair wouldn’t confirm the account was Legan’s, he said: ‘I can’t comment on that, because I don’t know the answer, but the presumption is yes I understand what you’re asking but I don’t have the answer to that.’
Chief Smithee added they aren’t yet prepared to say Legan had white supremacist beliefs based on the Instagram post, he said: ‘As far as the ideology and the accounts I’m not prepared to do that because that’s one source of information but we have so many different sources of information and they don’t all align.’
He said he did not know who deleted the Instagram account.