Federal Bureau of Investigation opens domestic terrorism probe into mass shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival

It was the first of three mass shootings within a week that killed a total of 34 people in Gilroy, Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

Bennett said the groups included were being notified of their inclusion but the Federal Bureau of Investigation will not release their names.

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said on Tuesday that authorities found a shotgun in Legan's auto, and the shooter's bag was found in the creek nearby - with two loose rounds, a scope in the bag, a flashlight, a shovel and two additional 40 round magazines and four loose magazines that belonged to the shotgun.

"We have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies", Bennett said.

"Much of our work remains ongoing", Bennett said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge John Bennett said the target list included religious institutions, courthouses and political institutions involving both the Republican and Democratic parties.

"Having a belief system and also committing an act of violence does not necessarily make that an act of terrorism nor does it give a clear motive", Bennett said.

Mourners leave a funeral for Keyla Salazar, 13, on August 6, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. Salazar and two others were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mr Bennett said: "We have seen a fractured ideology".

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Legan shot and killed himself after a shootout with Gilroy police minutes after he sprayed the festival crowd with a semi-automatic rifle, killing three people and wounding 13. He declined to offer specific evidence leading investigators to this determination. He was armed with an SKS AK-47-style semiautomatic rifle and clad in a bulletproof vest when he opened fire at the California garlic festival.

The suspect had a 75-round drum magazine - with 71 rounds left in the drum - and two 40 round magazines on his body.

Legan died in a shootout with three Gilroy police officers, who had run toward the gunfire as soon as they heard shots, according to authorities.

"I do not yet have a definitive finding from the coroner's office on exactly where those rounds hit him or exactly how many rounds", Smithee said.

A shotgun was discovered in a vehicle belonging to the suspect, Smithee said. Authorities added they found additional magazines, a rifle scope, flashlight and shovel in a bag in a nearby creek.

"The case is ongoing and we can not provide any detailed information", Bennett said.

In response to a question from a reporter, Bennett declined to discuss any potential relationship between the Garlic Festival shooting and at least two mass shootings that left almost 30 people dead since then, in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.

Authorities are treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism. The three responding officers fired 18 rounds, hitting the shooter multiple times although it was unclear how many.

Researchers are increasingly seeing shooters with a broad range of incentives and, at times, conflicting ideologies, which can make it hard to classify attacks and pinpoint motivations, said Brian Levin, director of California State University, San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

  • Sonia Alvarado