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Screenshots show that the gunman who killed three people, including two children, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on Sunday quoted a white supremacist book and condemned “white twats” on Instagram prior to the shooting.
Authorities have identified the shooter as 19-year-old Santino William Legan. A bystander said that when someone caught in the rampage asked his motive, the alleged shooter said he was “really angry,” according to the Los Angeles Times. He was shot dead by police within a minute of initiating the shooting.
Screenshots show that before opening fire on the annual charity festival’s last day, Legan posted a photo of a sign that said “Fire Danger High Today” and commented that he read Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. In the book, first published in 1890, the pseudonymous author boasts about the importance of “racial survival” of the white man and maintains that women are men’s property.
The alleged shooter’s Instagram account, @santino_williamlegan, has since been taken down. According to screenshots shared on Twitter, he mocked the festival in a separate post.
“Ayyy garlic festival time,” he wrote underneath a photo appearing to be of the festival, according to the screenshot shared by Twitter user Alex Goldenberg. “Come get wasted on overpriced shit.”
The suspect also posted this moments before. pic.twitter.com/uR5Fv6N1gh— Alex Goldenberg (@AlexWGoldenberg) July 29, 2019
Goldenberg’s tweet says the Instagram photo was posted “moments before” the incident, but this cannot be confirmed as Instagram does not show timestamps on photos.
In the post where he mentioned the white supremacist book, the alleged shooter also criticized rich white people and people of Latin American heritage.
“Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” he wrote in a post captured by another Twitter user and further reported by news site Heavy.com. “Mestizo” refers to a person of mixed-race, usually someone with white European and indigenous Latin American heritage.
Screenshots also showed that Legan’s bio on Instagram said he is Italian and Iranian, and it remains unclear who he was “really angry” with.
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Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque