Police investigate link between Bay Area shooter, racial manifesto

By Nicholas Sakelaris & Danielle Haynes
A bouquet of roses and a candle are left at the entrance to the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Calif., on Monday. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
1 of 2 | A bouquet of roses and a candle are left at the entrance to the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Calif., on Monday. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

July 30 (UPI) -- Investigators say they've found white supremacist and anti-Semitic propaganda on a social media account connected to the gunman who killed three people at a Northern California festival over the weekend.

Police said Santino William Legan opened fire at a garlic festival Sunday in Gilroy, 30 miles southeast of San Jose. Two children were among the dead and a dozen others were injured.


The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner on Tuesday identified the two children as 6-year-old Stephen Romero and 13-year-old Keyla Salazar. Keuka College in New York confirmed the identity of the adult to the San Francisco Chronicle -- Trevor Irby, 25.

Looking for a motive, investigators searched Legan's family's home in Gilroy, as well as a home where he'd been living in Walker Lake, Nev. They also reviewed his Internet accounts.

"I think everybody wants to know why," Gilroy police Chief Scot Smithee said. "We're compiling a list today of all the different victims and all the different locations. Once we're able to look at that list then we can draw conclusions from that."


An Instagram account police say belonged to Legan posted a link to a neo-Nazi manifesto, leading authorities to suspect the shooting may have been a hate crime. On the account, Legan described himself as Italian and Iranian, and in a now-deleted photo he referred to a book known for anti-Semitic positions. It's also become a recruitment tool for groups, experts say, as it advocates violence and death along racial lines and includes anti-Semitic rhetoric.

"It goes back as far as the '80s," founder and director of the anti-racist One People's Project Daryle Lamont Jenkins told NBC News. "I remember Aryan Nations was some of the first to start using the Internet ... then the general public came on in '95. White supremacists have been using the Internet to disseminate their views for that long."

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the majority of recent domestic terrorism cases are motivated by "some version of what you might call white supremacist violence."

Hundreds gathered for a vigil in the small rural community Monday night to remember the shooting victims. A town hall meeting on youth violence was held in San Francisco and quickly become a discussion about the Gilroy shooting.


"America is about to lose its soul," the Rev. Atmos Brown said. "We're here to make sure we turn this litany of violence around."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited with victims and their families and condemned federal lawmakers for not doing more to limit high-capacity guns.

The owner of a Nevada gun shop where police said Legan legally bought his AK-47-style rifle apologized Monday and said he'd like the gunman to "rot in hell."

"We feel so very sorry for the families," the owner of Big Mikes Guns and Ammo posted on Facebook. "I am heartbroken this could ever happen ... 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."

Though the style of weapon is legal in Nevada, a federal law enforcement source told the Chronicle it was illegal to transport it to California.

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