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Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter killed himself, coroner says, contradicting police version of events

Los Angeles Times logo Los Angeles Times 8/2/2019 Matthew Ormseth
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Police officers escort people from Christmas Hill Park on Sunday night following the shooting. © Noah Berger / Associated Press Police officers escort people from Christmas Hill Park on Sunday night following the shooting.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival gunman killed himself, the county medical examiner concluded Friday, contradicting an earlier police account that three officers had shot him dead within a minute.

Santino William Legan, 19, opened fire at the popular food festival Sunday evening, killing three people and wounding 13 more. Police had previously said his rampage was cut short when three Gilroy policemen engaged and killed Legan in less than a minute.

The Santa Clara County medical examiner, however, said that Legan died of a self-inflicted, "intra-oral" gunshot wound, according to a spokeswoman for the medical examiner.

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At a news conference Thursday, Scot Smithee, the Gilroy police chief, declined to say how many times Legan had been shot. He identified the Gilroy officers who engaged Legan as Eric Cryar, Hugo Del Moral and Robert Basuino, all longtime law enforcement veterans.

"I think they're heroes. I don't think they view themselves that way," Smithee said. "I think they view themselves as just doing their job."

Legan killed three people, two of them children: Stephen Romero, 6; Keyla Salazar, 13; and Trevor Irby, 25. Law enforcement authorities have not identified a motive.

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