- The shooter at a California garlic festival referenced a racist manifesto popular with neo-Nazis on Instagram before opening fire, according to NBC News and The Daily Beast.
- A shooter killed three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, including two children, and police said it "could have gone so much" if they hadn’t shot the gunman dead almost immediately.
- Before the shooting, the gunman told people to read a text from the 1890s that argues for the superiority of white people, uses anti-Semitic language, and justifies violence, according to reports.
- Similar racist and white supremacist texts and views have been promoted by those behind other mass shootings and terror attacks, including the New Zealand mosque and Pittsburgh synagogue attacks.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
The shooter who killed three people at a food festival in Northern California referenced a racist, white supremacist manifesto often shared online by neo-Nazis before opening fire at the event, according to multiple reports.
Santino William Legan, 19, was identified as the shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday. Witnesses said he appeared to fire indiscriminately into the crowd, not appearing to target anyone in particular.
Police said they shot him dead almost immediately. "It could have gone so much worse so fast," Scot Smithee, chief of Gilroy Police Department told reporters, Reuters reported.
Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
He first wrote: "Ayyy garlic festival time. Come get wasted on overpriced shit," on the now-deleted Instagram accounts, the outlets reported.
He then shared a picture with a caption that said: "Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard," referencing a racist manifesto from the 1890s.
The text, written under a pseudonym, argues that the white race is biologically superior to others and includes anti-Semitic and misogynistic language, and also argues in favor of the use of racial violence.
According to NBC News, Legan "then used a slurs against mixed-race people and misogynistic descriptions of white Silicon Valley workers, complaining about ‘hordes’ of them ‘overcrowding’ towns."
Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images
Keegan Hankes, a senior analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, told Rolling Stone that the text is "widely popular and present among ethnocentric white nationalists of all levels, from suit-and-tie white supremacists to neo-Nazis."
Instagram said on Monday that it had removed an account with the same name as the shooter, The Hill reported.
Such material has been embraced by those behind other mass shooting and terrorist attacks.
The accused shooter in the New Zealand mosque attack, suspected of killing at least 51 people, appeared to share links to a white nationalist manifesto on his Facebook page before the attack. The racist document argued that white people are being replaced in a "genocide."
@wavyia/Social Media via REUTERS
One witness said that they overheard someone ask the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter on Sunday: "Why are you doing this?" They said they heard the reply: "Because I’m really angry."
The three people killed by the shooter were a six-year-old Steven Romero, 25-year-old Trevor Irby, and 13-year old Keyla Salazar.
Police said on Sunday that they did not know what the shooter’s motive was.
Police said that he used an assault rifle that he purchased legally in Nevada earlier this month. They said the weapon "could not be sold in California," which has stricter gun laws.
Police said they are still looking for a potential second suspect after witnesses said the shooter had an accomplice, but said they did not know what role the second person would have played.
- Read more about the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting:
- At least 8 people were killed and almost 50 were injured in 8 mass shootings across the US this weekend
- These are the victims of the mass shooting at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California
- The gunman at the Gilroy Garlic Festival identified as a 19-year-old man, used a weapon legally purchased in Nevada
- 4 dead, including a suspect, in shooting at California garlic festival