FBI Investigating Garlic Festival Shooting as Domestic Terrorism

Police stay focused on a target after a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Calif., on July 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

(CN) – The FBI will investigate the deadly July 28 shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California as a case of domestic terrorism, officials announced Tuesday.

“We have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John Bennett at a press conference Tuesday.

Three people were killed in the attack and 13 others were injured at the annual festival in Gilroy, a town of about 50,000 southeast of San Jose.

Stephen Luciano Romero, 6, and Keyla Salazar, 13, both from San Jose, and Trevor Irby, a 25-year-old from Romulus, New York, were killed in the attack.

The 19-year-old gunman, Gilroy resident Santino William Legare, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging gunfire with police responding to the incident.

Reports in the immediate aftermath of the incident said the gunman had shared a white supremacy manifesto online, but the FBI later said it was still investigating whether ideology was a primary motive for the shooting.

On Tuesday, Bennett said the gunman had a fractured ideology, with an internet search history and social media postings reflecting various competing ideologies – all of which fixated on violence.

The gunman also had a “target list” which included individuals from both political parties. The FBI said it would not rule out white nationalism as a motive.

Legare fired 39 rounds during the shooting and had several more weapons on his body. He used an AK-47 assault rifle purchased legally in Nevada.

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