As more details have begun to emerge in the aftermath of Sunday’s deadly shooting at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, social media posts by the shooter prior to the incident show he may have been a white supremacist, or at least sympathized with the racist movement.
If it is proven that 19-year-old Santino William Legan was a white supremacist, it would be the latest in a growing string of attempted and carried-out mass shootings attributed to overt pro-white racism that has soared since the election of Donald Trump.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Legan was the grandson of a former Santa Clara County supervisor and his brother is a boxer training for the 2020 Olympics. Something else that is now known about Legan is that the last social media post he made prior to the shooting endorsed a book that has been widely tied to white supremacist hate groups and ideology.
“Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to cater to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” Legan wrote on a post to his now-deleted Instagram account before plugging the text “Might Is Right” by Ragnar Redbeard. According to Rolling Stone, “Might Is Right,” which has been banned in multiple countries, essentially advocates for social Darwinism, or the idea that members of certain races or ethnicities are inherently better equipped for survival than others. Though the true author of the book is unknown, it first appeared in the 19th century and argued that the “white race” was biologically superior.
“It’s widely popular and present among ethnocentric white nationalists of all levels, from suit-and-tie white supremacists to neo-Nazis,” Keegan Hankes, a senior analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s intelligence project, said.
Authorities have yet to comment on whether the shooting was racially motivated and there was still a question if Legan had any other ties to white supremacists, and/or racist views or groups.
On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of people were enjoying the annual Garlic Festival when shots rang out. Legan was killed within minutes of him opening fire after emerging from a food court area, but three people lost their lives, one of which was Stephen Romero, a 6-year-old boy. Authorities said that they believed the shooter came into the festival through an opening in a fence because there were metal detectors and wands at the entrance, but one festival-goer said anyone could have had ample opportunity to walk in through the front.
“They only asked me to open my purse,” she said. “I was not patted down. There were many opportunities for people to walk in, the security was very relaxed.”
Police searched Legan’s father’s home, which was less than two miles away from the festival but had not revealed a motive for the shooting.
White supremacy inspired violence has been on the apparent rise since Trump was elected nearly three years ago. In no certain order, high profile instances include but were not limited to the Charlottesville killing, shootings at a Kroger’s in a Cincinnati suburb, shootings at two New Zealand mosques and a decorated Coast Guard officer who wanted to create a “white homeland” and was apparently ready to attack if Trump was impeached.