Gilroy Garlic Festival alleged shooter promoted racist, misogynistic book just minutes before rampage

Emergency personnel responding to the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic festival in Gilroy, California. Screen capture by KPIX SF Bay Area via YouTube

The gunman who allegedly opened fire with an assault-style rifle at the crowded Gilroy Garlic Festival in California last weekend took to his now-deleted Instagram account to tout a book that’s popular with white supremacists. Just minutes later the shooting began and three people were killed, including a six-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. More than one dozen people were injured.

In his Instagram account, Santino William Legan exhorted his followers to read the far-right book, described by The Daily Beast as “a 19th-century proto-fascist book.”

Notes The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill and Audrey McNamara:

“The book, which is repeatedly recommended alongside works by Hitler and other fascists on forums like 8chan, is full of anti-Semitic, sexist and white supremacist ideology. The book glorifies ‘Aryan’ men, condemns inter-marriage between races and defends violence based on bogus eugenicist tropes.”

Legan, 19, was killed by police during the shooting, the New Civil Rights Movement reports. His posts were often racist and show a disdain for technology.

“Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” he wrote in one post.

Minutes before the shooting, which occurred at about 6 p.m. Sunday, Legan posted “Ayyy garlic festival time. Come get wasted on overpriced sh*t.” Shooters with warped ideological ideas sometimes rely on manifestos before launching attacks as a way to draw attention to these works. We saw that with the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and in the case Ted Kaczynski, who gained infamy as the Unabomber, writing his own manifesto.

The festival was beginning to wind down when popping sounds of the rifle could be heard just as the band TinMan was beginning an encore as the terrifying scene unfolded. Talking to The Associated Press, lead singer Tim Van Breen said someone in the audience hollered:

“Why are you doing this?” The gunman replied: “Because I’m really angry.”

According to witnesses, the shooter was wearing camouflage pants, a pale green shirt and a sported a handkerchief around his neck. Police say Legan legally purchased the rifle in Nevada in early July, then brought it into California, where it’s illegal, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The gun shop where Legan purchased the assault-style rifle has suggested on Facebook that the legal age for buying such a gun should be raised to 21 and has even expressed remorse for the shooting.

“We feel so sorry for the families of the CA shooting,” the shop wrote. “May the POS rest in hell. Maybe people need to be 21 to buy?”

And maybe Republicans should quit expressing “thoughts and prayers” and actually work with the Democrats to legislate meaningful gun control laws?

Just a thought.

Featured image courtesy of the video above