FBI opens domestic terrorism investigation into Gilroy attack

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has now classified the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting as a domestic terrorism investigation, saying the gunman was "exploring violent ideologies" and had a specific list of targets. 

Tuesday the FBI announced it finished collecting evidence from the scene of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, while revealing new information about what may have led up to the deadly rampage. 

"We have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies. We have seen a fractured ideology. The shooter appeared to have an interest in varying competing violent ideologies," said John Bennett, special agent-in-charge with the FBI.

A motive has not yet been determined, but FBI agents said a digital media analysis of the suspect's electronic devices revealed a list of potential targets. 

"These organizations from across the country include religious institutions, federal buildings, courthouses, political organizations from both major political parties and the Gilroy Garlic Festival," Bennett said. 

Nineteen-year-old gunman Santino William Legan fatally shot three people -- including two children -- and injured 13 others with a Romanian-made AK-47-style rifle before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities say Legan was wearing a bullet-resistant vest when he fired 39 rounds into the crowd. Three officers returned fire and let off 18 rounds.

Police said a bag recovered in a nearby creek contained ammunition, a rifle scope, a flashlight and a shovel. 

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said the gunman was hit multiple times by the officers' gunfire, but the exact number of times is unclear. 

Smithee said the three victims who died in the attack were hit by the suspect's gunfire not the officers'.

Tuesday's developments don't change the pain one Cal State Monterey student is going through. 21-year-old Lizet Quintanar of Gilroy said she was at the festival with 10 family members. 

"It's still the same thing. He murdered three people. He put everyone's life in danger," Quintanar said. 

Quintanar picked up personal items from the festival site on Tuesday, including her one-year-old niece's stroller, which the family abandoned as they ran for safety. 

"It was so scary, you know," Quintanar said. "He ruined something that was so special to me. I grew up going to the Garlic Festival. Knowing he did something like that at a place where everyone was trying to have fun --it's sad."

The Legan family on Tuesday broke their silence and issued the following statement: 

"Our family is deeply shocked and horrified by the actions of our son. 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. We want to express our deepest and sincerest apologies for the loss and pain that he has caused. 

We have never and would never condone the hateful thoughts and ideologies that led to this event and it is impossible to reconcile this with the son we thought we knew. Our son is gone, and we will forever have unanswered questions as to how or why any of this has happened. 

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. 

Every single member of our family has cooperated with the investigation and will continue to cooperate. 

We also want to thank all of our friends in the community and people we have never met, who have sent us messages of support and compassion for what has occurred. Thanks to all of you. 

To the City of Gilroy and to everyone affected, we are tremendously sorry. No words can begin to express this."

On Tuesday the family assistance center moved to the Gilroy Public Library where stuffed animals were given to children. Organizers say about 600 people have utilized services. 

"We've served those who threw their bodies on top of children, who pushed families aside, who tried to provide life-saving intervention to the people who were dying and injured," said Kasey Halcon, director of the victim services unit with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office. "I think that's something for the community of Gilroy to be proud of; that there was one person with one gun and there were hundreds of people with the interest to help and the instinct to protect." 

Federal investigators still need to figure out if the shooter identified or associated with any one ideology. They will be looking into whom, if anyone, helped the gunman carry out the attack or knew about it beforehand. They will also reach out to targets on the list. 

A separate shooting that killed 22 people at a crowded El Paso, Texas, store over the weekend is also being handled as a domestic terrorism case.