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California

Clues to Gilroy shooting found in remote Nevada town: Ammo, gas mask, extremist writings

Gilroy shooting
Police escort people from Christmas Hill Park on Sunday night following the shooting.
(Noah Berger / Associated Press)

Santino William Legan lived for most of his life in Gilroy, Calif.

But for at least the last few months, the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter was staying in this remote town in Nevada.

That’s where authorities served search warrants in the wake of his Sunday attack that left three dead and 12 injured before Legan was himself killed.

Mineral County Dist. Atty. Sean Rowe said authorities searched a triplex unit where Legan lived. Court documents showed they retrieved items including a bulletproof vest, empty weapon and ammunition boxes, a pocketknife, a gun light, a camouflage backpack, pamphlets on guns, a sack of ammo casings, a gas mask and gloves.

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They also took electronics: three hard drives, three thumb drives, a flip phone and a computer tower. They found a letter to him from a woman, according to the court records.

A law enforcement source said Tuesday that authorities recovered extremist materials during a search, though the source would not elaborate on their nature.

Rowe was not aware of Legan doing any shooting in the area.

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Santino William Legan
Santino William Legan, seen in an Instagram photo, killed three and injured 12 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, authorities said.
(Instagram)

“There isn’t a public range around here,” Rowe said, “but there is a lot of public land.”

Legan was seldom seen and barely heard but was certainly noticed by residents. Mineral County Sheriff Randy Adams said people didn’t fade into a small town easily, especially when they’re new. “You’d stand out,” he said.

But Legan didn’t make much of an impression during his short time in this rural county of about 4,500.

Spud Winn, who lives in a row of apartments across from where Legan resided, said he saw him walk to the mailbox and saw him occasionally leave the gray triplex.

“I never even heard his voice,” Winn said.

The bearded 60-year-old construction worker said most people kept to themselves around the lake, which has been sucked dry by drought and farms upstream from its main water source, the Walker River.

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Its glory days of being a resort town with crowds coming to fish its waters for trout have been gone for years — though there is a robust campaign to save Walker Lake through websites and court cases. Now it’s largely quiet, where the big moments of the day come when herds of bighorn sheep descend from the mountains and cross the highway.

But why a teenager would come to Walker Lake remained a mystery to residents and local officials.

Winn said an older woman used to live in the unit raided by police Monday morning after the shooting in Gilroy. He figured it was a relative.

Another neighbor who asked not to be identified said she once rented the same unit Legan had inhabited and said the older woman hadn’t been seen for months.

Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.


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