FBI opens domestic terror investigation into Gilroy, Calif., mass shooting

By REUTERS
August 6, 2019 22:52
1 minute read.
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a domestic terrorism investigation into a California mass shooting by a 19-year-old gunman who killed three people at a food festival last week, an official said on Tuesday.

Authorities have said they still do not know what motivated Santino William Legan, 19, to fire with an assault-style rifle into a crowd attending a garlic festival in Gilroy, California, on July 28. Legan shot himself to death after exchanging gunfire with police officers. A dozen people were wounded in the shooting.Investigators have discovered Legan kept a list of targets on at least one digital device, John Bennett, the FBI special agent in charge in the San Francisco office, told a news conference on Tuesday.

One of those targets was the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, a decades-old event celebrating produce farmed in the countryside of California that is held about 70 miles (110 km) south of San Francisco.

"The shooter appeared to have an interest in varying, competing violent ideologies," Bennett told reporters.

"Due to the discovery of the target list, as well as other information we have encountered in this investigation, the FBI has opened a full domestic terrorism investigation into this mass shooting."

Before the shooting, Legan had posted on his Instagram page a photograph showing a sign warning of a high danger of forest fires. Its caption urged people to read "Might is Right," a racist and sexist treatise written in the 19th century.

Legan's target list had organizations from across the country and included religious institutions and political organizations affiliated with both the Democratic and Republican parties, Bennett said.

The FBI is notifying the groups that were on the list but will not publicly release the list, he said.


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