The Gilroy Garlic Festival Mass Shooter Has Been Identified – Here’s What We Know

California Mass Shooting

Police engaged and fatally shot a gunman who opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Nothern California on Sunday afternoon. Before being taken down, the gunman shot 15 people, injuring 12 and killing three. Here’s what we know so far.

1. The Shooter

Police have confirmed the identity of the shooter as 19-year-old Santino William Legan.

Legan, dressed in a protective vest, sunglasses, and a baseball cap, managed to get into the festival by cutting a hole in a perimeter fence to avoid security, as the festival’s website explicitly banned weapons of any kind.

According to reports, Legan wasn’t targeting anyone specifically, but spraying indiscriminately into the crowd. He reportedly used an assault-type rifle in the attack that police say was purchased legally in Nevada on July 9.

2. Motive

While his Instagram has been since taken down, Legan only had three posts. One, posted right before the shooting said “Ayy garlic festival time. Come get wasted on overpriced shit.”

Another referenced a 19th-century machismo guidebook saying, “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 twats?” The ideas in Might is Right, that “natural law is tooth and claw.” read a bit like the extreme fringes of 4Chan and Reddit culture.

A witness reportedly shouted at Legan during the attack, asking why he was shooting people.

“Because I’m really angry,” Legan replied.

As of now, there is no clear motive as to why Legan chose to attack the garlic festival.

3. Victims

The only identified victim so far is 6-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero, who died on Sunday night. Romero’s mother was shot in the hand and stomach but is expected to survive. Romero’s grandmother is also in the hospital with gunshot wounds as well.


Cheryl Low and Candice Marquez, who were working at the festival during the shooting, said that both their boss and her boss’s husband were shot. The unnamed boss was shot once and is currently stable, while her husband was shot three times. His condition is critical.

yo somebody was shooting at the gilroy garlic festival. be safe pic.twitter.com/B39ZIYe8wr

During a 1 p.m. EST press conference on Monday, authorities revealed the other two murder victims were a 13-year-old girl and a man in his twenties. Their names have not yet been released.

4. Security

According to witness, Julissa Contreras, “security was great. They weren’t extremely invasive, but they checked [her] fanny pack and backpack and I felt they were thorough.”

Police working security were reportedly able to respond to the shooting in under a minute and eventually received backup from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

5. Accomplice 

Josh Campbell, a former FBI agent, told CNN that some eyewitnesses reported a second suspect to police, but added “we know there’s almost never a second shooter” in these scenarios.

A second suspect “was involved in some way, we just don’t know in what way,” said Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee.

[Photos via Twitter Screenshot and Instagram Screenshot Respectively]

Matt is an Editor at Law & Crime and former Editor-in-Chief of Popdust

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