Three people are dead after a California festival was cut short this weekend when a gunman trespassed the gated area and began shooting attendees at random, CNN reported.
The police has identified 19-year-old Santino William Legan as the suspect. The shooting left 12 people injured and killed a 6-year-old boy, 13 year-old girl and an adult man in Gilroy, California. The gunman was then shot dead by local police at the scene.
“We are heartbroken that senseless violence brought this year’s festival to such a terrible and tragic end,” 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival President said in a statement.
The annual festival draws 100,000 people each year. According to reports, Legan entered the festival grounds by cutting through a fence. He used a legally purchased assault riffle and began shooting at 5:40 p.m. on Sunday night.
“I turned around for a quick moment and I hear the gunshot sounds,” festival attendee Lex De La Herran told CNN.
“At first I thought it was fireworks but a man behind me screamed that ‘those are real, those are real.'”
“I just froze like a deer in the headlights,” he said. De La Herran was also injured during the incident by a piece of shrapnel to the head, CNN reported.
Reports also found an Instagram account that seemed to belong to the suspect. Hours before The Gilroy Garlic Festival was violently attacked, the account posted a picture of festival attendees.
“Ayyy garlic festival time Come get wasted on overpriced sh**,” the caption read.
There was also a post with a caption that glorified white supremacist title Might is Right, which is a controversial manifesto that argues for a natural order where white men will rule over people of color. The book is often compared to the satanic bible.
“Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard,” the caption read according to CNN. “Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white tw**s?”
The police told CNN that the motives behind the attack are still unclear.
“Gilroy is an amazing, tightly-knit community. We are family,” said Gilroy Garlic Festival Executive Director Brian Bowe in a statement.
“For over four decades that festival has been our annual family reunion. It’s such a sad, just horribly upsetting circumstance that this happened on the third and final day of this year’s festival.”