SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The man who opened fire on a crowd at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last weekend killed himself, contradicting the official police account that officers shot him dead.
The Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office confirmed Friday that 19-year-old Santino William Legan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Gilroy Police Department had previously said officers patrolling the event responded within a minute of the shots being fired and killed Legan, preventing any further casualties.
FULL COVERAGE: Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting
At news conferences throughout the week, police said Legan was shot and killed by three police officers, identified Thursday as Eric Cryar, a 23-year veteran, Hugo Del Moral, a 17-year veteran, and Robert Basuino, a 13-year veteran.
The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave to support their well-being after the rampage by Legan, police Chief Scot Smithee said Thursday. He called the officers humble and heroic and said they do not want to be in the spotlight.
According to the medical examiner’s office, Legan died by suicide with an intraoral gunshot wound to the head.
Police Chief Scot Smithee said police officers who responded to the attack opened fire and hit Legan “multiple times,” which caused him to fall to the ground. However, Legan was still able to operate the rifle he had and the fatal wound was self-inflicted, said Smithee.
“I don’t think that changes anything about the heroics of our officers in engaging him,” said Smithee. “It really doesn’t change anything in my mind, but I wanted to make sure that the preliminary finding of self-inflicted gunshot wound wasn’t misconstrued in any way in the news reports that go out between now and next week, and between now and the time that the rest of the investigation is concluded.
Smithee said the fact that the coroner determined Legan fired the fatal shot does not contradict the department’s version of the events.
“I don’t think it contradicts anything,” said Smithee. “The same series of events occurred. You know, whether he was able to get a shot off into his head at some point after we shot him doesn’t change any of the series of events that occurred at the scene.”
It was not known exactly how many times police officers struck Legan with bullets, said Smithee.
Smithee also said there was no evidence to suggest any bystanders were hit by the officers’ shots.
A full report from the coroner’s office was still pending.
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