LOS ANGELES (AP) — The invention of a “goal checklist” containing non secular establishments, courthouses and different websites compiled by the gunman in a mass capturing at a California meals competition has prompted the FBI to open a home terrorism case.
Shooter Santino William Legan, 19, seemed to be occupied with conflicting violent ideologies, however authorities nonetheless haven’t decided a motive for the July 28 assault that killed three folks, together with two kids, stated John Bennett, the FBI’s agent in cost in San Francisco.
Authorities haven’t discovered a written rationalization from Legan, however Bennett stated they can’t rule out white nationalism as an element.
On the day of the assault, Legan urged his Instagram followers to learn a 19th century guide standard with white supremacists who comply with extremist web sites. He additionally complained about overcrowding cities and paving open house to make room for “hordes” of Latinos and Silicon Valley whites.
Relations of Legan launched an announcement saying they have been “deeply shocked and horrified” by his actions. Additionally they apologized to the victims and their households.
“We’ve by no means and would by no means condone the hateful ideas and ideologies that led to this occasion, and it’s inconceivable to reconcile this with the son we thought we knew,” the assertion stated.
Legan grew up lower than a mile from Christmas Hill Park, the place the competition was held. His father was a aggressive runner and coach; his brother was an completed younger boxer; and his grandfather had been a Santa Clara County supervisor.
The assertion, distributed by lawyer Chuck Smith, stated the household has cooperated with the investigation.
“We’re heartbroken that he dedicated this violence in his hometown, at a household occasion meant to have a good time the tight-knit group we now have been part of for 20 years,” the assertion stated. “To the town of Gilroy and to everybody affected, we’re tremendously sorry. No phrases can start to specific this.”
Investigators have been inspecting Legan’s digital media to find out his attainable ideology, who he might have been in touch with relating to the ideologies, who if anybody helped him, and why he dedicated the violence, Bennett stated.
The goal checklist, which additionally included federal buildings and each main U.S. political events, was discovered in the course of the examination of the digital proof. Bennett stated the teams included have been being notified however the FBI wouldn’t launch their names.
Bennett stated there was no indication that Legan did something violent previous to attacking folks on the Gilroy Garlic Pageant with an AK-47-style rifle earlier than turning the gun on himself. 13 folks have been injured.
A separate mass capturing that killed 22 folks at a crowded El Paso, Texas, retailer over the weekend was additionally being dealt with as a home terrorism case.
The FBI has not stated it was treating the mass capturing in Dayton, Ohio, as an act of home terrorism. A gunman there killed 9 folks in a nightclub district.
The FBI’s disclosure Tuesday got here because the household of Gilroy sufferer Keyla Salazar held a funeral mass for the 13-year-old woman.
Bennett advised victims’ households that nothing he might say or do would deliver again their family members.
Nonetheless, he stated, “All the things is being executed with you in our minds.”
Federal investigators have fewer instruments and authorized powers at their disposal in home terrorism circumstances than they do if they’re up in opposition to somebody tied to a global group akin to Islamic State or al-Qaida.
Regulation enforcement officers conducting worldwide terrorism investigations, as an example, can get a secret surveillance warrant to watch the communications of an individual they assume could also be an agent of a international energy or terror group.
Equally, the U.S. felony code makes it against the law for anybody to lend materials help to designated international terror organizations, even when the investigation does not contain accusations of violence.
There is no home counterpart to that materials help statute, which means federal prosecutors should depend on hate crime legal guidelines, weapons fees and different approaches that will not carry the terrorism label. Mere membership or help for a white supremacist group will not be unlawful.
Authorities stated that Legan fired 39 rounds earlier than he killed himself. Three officers fired 18 instances at him.
Not one of the victims who died have been struck by officers’ hearth, Gilroy police Chief Scot Smithee stated.
Legan was sporting a bullet-resistant vest and had a number of high-capacity magazines on his physique and on the bottom, the chief stated.
Authorities stated they discovered extra ammunition, a rifle scope, flashlight and shovel in a bag in a close-by creek.
Related Press Author Eric Tucker contributed to this report from Washington.