Three were killed and 12 others were injured from bullets fired by a 19-year-old gunman in the latest mass shooting in the U.S. The tragedy unfolded in Gilroy, California, during the annual “Garlic Festival” on Sunday. The festival typically attracts 100,000 attendees who come to celebrate the city’s reputation as the garlic capital of the world.
Law enforcement investigating the shooting reported that the gunman, Santino William Legan, cut through a fence surrounding the perimeter of the outdoor event to gain entry to the festival. After the shooting began, survivors described the chaos of festival-goers trying to protect themselves. They explained that people threw tables and cut through fences to try to escape the gunman. They also reported that Legan was shooting all around and although he appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest, law enforcement officers responding to the emergency shot and killed him to secure the area – bringing the total number of fatalities to four.
Law enforcement continue to investigate the incident and have not officially determined a motive. However, during the rampage, Jack van Breen, a singer in the band that was providing entertainment during the festivities, heard Legan say, “Because I’m really angry,” in response to a festival attendee who questioned his motives. It was reported that Legan referenced a far-right book in a negative Instagram post about the festival just before the shooting took place.
The three victims killed by the deceased suspect include 6-year-old Stephen Romero, a 13-year-old girl and an unidentified man in his 20s. Investigators say the gun was purchased legally by the suspect three weeks ago in Nevada.
Victims have started reclaiming some aspect of justice in the aftermath of similar senseless crimes. Lawsuits alleging negligent security, among other claims, allow survivors and the families of crime victims to seek accountability from establishment owners, vendors, event sponsors and others that fail to protect their patrons.
Beasley Allen lawyer Parker Miller handles negligent security cases, a subset of premises liability cases, where innocent people are brutally injured or murdered in apartment complexes, hotels, nightclubs and other establishments because premises owners failed to take basic and necessary security measures. Miller, a lawyer in Beasley Allen’s Atlanta office, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of 21-year-old Ewell Ynoa, who was shot and killed while attending a concert at the Masquerade, a night club and live music venue located in the Underground Atlanta development in November 2017.