The family of Santino William Legan has issued their first public statement following the July 28 shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, and they say they are "deeply shocked and horrified" by his actions and they're finding it "impossible to reconcile this with the son we thought we knew."
The statement from the Legan family, who have longtime ties to the Gilroy and Santa Clara County communities, is the first such comment that any family member has made since Legan open-fired on the festival killing three people, and injuring over a dozen others. It was first published Tuesday morning by NBC Bay Area.
"To the families of Stephen Romero, Keyla Salazar, Trevor Irby, and to the injured that survived this tragedy, we cannot begin to describe our despair at his actions,” the statement continues. “We want to express our deepest and sincerest apologies for the loss and pain that he has caused. We are heartbroken that he committed this violence in his hometown, at a family event meant to celebrate the tight knit community we have been a part of for twenty years. We have never and would never condone the hateful thoughts and ideologies that led to this event... Our son is gone, and we will forever have unanswered questions as to how or why any of this has happened."
In their ongoing quest to understand Legan's motives, FBI investigators revealed Tuesday that they have found material suggesting that Legan was collecting violent ideologies, and he himself had "a fractured ideology," with apparent animus toward both ends of the political spectrum, the government in general, and multiple religions. As KPIX reports following an FBI press conference, the bureau is launching a domestic terrorism investigation into the Gilroy shooting — just as they are with Saturday's shooting in El Paso and Sunday's in Dayton — and they've so far found, via content on multiple devices, that "The shooter appeared to have an interest in varying, competing violent ideologies."
Legan also apparently had compiled a broad list of potential targets across the country that included "religious organizations, institutions, federal buildings, courthouses, political organizations of both major political parties and the Gilroy Garlic Festival." In the end he appeared to select the target closest to home.
At the press conference, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee also told reporters that Legan fired off 39 shots during his spree, and had 71 shots remaining in a 75-round magazine attached to his gun. He was also carrying two additional 40-round magazines on his person.
The Legan family said that "every single member" of the family had been cooperating with the investigation, and would continue to do so. "To the City of Gilroy and to everyone affected, we are tremendously sorry," they write. "No words can begin to express this."