GILROY (CBS SF / CNN) — An AK-47 style rifle legally purchased in Nevada and used to attack people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival couldn’t have been purchased legally in California, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday.
Becerra said it’s also illegal to transport the assault-style weapon into the state.
“That weapon could not be sold in California. That weapon cannot be imported into the state of California,” Becerra said in response to a question about the assault-style rifle used in the shooting.
Becerra added: “There is a very strong likelihood as we develop the evidence that the perpetrator in this particular case violated California law on top of the crimes of homicide and so forth, the crimes that we have that are meant to prevent individuals from carrying out this type of activity.”
An exasperated Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday renewed his calls for federal action on gun control.
“I can’t put borders up … in a neighboring state where you can buy this damn stuff legally,” Newsom said after visiting victims hospitalized at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. “I have no problem with the Second Amendment, you have a right to bear arms but not weapons of … mass destruction.”
Gov. @GavinNewsom visits victims of the #garlicfestivalshooting at #ValleyMedicalCenter… afterwards he makes fiery comments over lack of gun control. https://t.co/0vsGUuJl45 pic.twitter.com/a9HxO2Cy3k
— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) July 29, 2019
Santino William Legan, 19, killed three people and injured at least 12 others at the festival on Sunday with the rifle he bought July 9 in neighboring Nevada, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee told reporters Monday. Three officers who responded within a minute of the gunfire fatally shot Legan, he said.
Legan apparently entered the annual festival, which attracts about 100,000 people every year, by using a tool to cut through a back fence and then began shooting at random, the chief said. Smithee credited a heavy police presence for saving lives as chaos descended on the festival in Gilroy, located about 30 miles south of San Jose.
Authorities have obtained a warrant to search the vehicle the shooter drove to the festival and a Gilroy residence associated with him, according to Smithee. The FBI also searched a Walker Lake, Nevada, residence believed to have been used by the gunman prior to the shooting, Mineral County District Attorney Sean Rowe said.
Police recovered a firearm and rifle ammunition from the shooting scene, a law enforcement source told CNN.
Authorities earlier said they were searching for a second person who witnesses said may have been involved in the shooting. But on Monday, Smithee said multiple people had given differing versions of this person, “so we really don’t know at this point.”
The killings were the latest addition to a bloody list of American mass shootings that have targeted people anywhere and everywhere they congregate: at festivals, schools, places of worship, movie theaters, workplaces and bars.
Shooter should ‘rot in hell,’ gun shop owner says
The shooter purchased the rifle off the internet page of Big Mike’s Guns and Ammo in Fallon, Nevada, the business said in a Facebook post.
“I did not know this individual. He ordered the rifle off my internet page. When I did see him, he was acting happy and showed no reasons for concern. I would never ever sell any firearm to anyone who acted wrong or looks associated with any bad group like white power,” the post said.
CNN has reached out to law enforcement to confirm the gun shop’s statements. The store couldn’t be reached.
In a separate post the gun shop said: “The shooter in CA, I hope you rot in hell. We pray for the victims. My heart hurts for all of them.”
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