California

Shooter should ‘rot in hell’: Gun store owner speaks out over selling weapon to Gilroy gunman

Witnesses describe shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival

A witness said a man in "full utility" came into the California festival and started shooting on July 28, 2019. Other witnesses captured video of attendees fleeing the scene.
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A witness said a man in "full utility" came into the California festival and started shooting on July 28, 2019. Other witnesses captured video of attendees fleeing the scene.

The owner of a gun store in Fallon, Nev., says he sold the assault rifle used in the Gilroy mass shooting Sunday to suspect Santino William Legan, and that he is “heartbroken” over the incident and wants the shooter to “rot in hell.”

“We feel so very sorry for the Families, I am heartbroken this could ever happen,” the owner posted on the Facebook page of Big Mikes Gun and Ammo. “Please show only respect here. Good people have been hurt and this goes against everything I believe in.

“I have always said we will sell to good people and have done everything we can to make sure this happens. We obey the Laws, We are a small home business, we sell to people who we think are upstanding citizens to promote safe sport shooting.”

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said Legan legally purchased the rifle July 9 in Nevada, where he was living. Smithee referred to the gun as “an assault-type rifle.”

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted a law enforcement source saying Legan purchased the weapon from Big Mike Guns and Ammo.

The store’s Facebook post, signed only “Mike,” said he did not know the gunman and that Legan “ordered the rifle off my internet page.”

“When I did see him, he was acting happy and showed no reasons for concern,” the post said. “I would never ever sell any firearm to anyone who acted wrong or looks associated with any bad group like white power. Everyone is my brother and sister and I am mourning for the families. Mike.”

In an earlier post, the Facebook page said the shooter should “rot in hell.”

“We pray for the victims,” the post read. “My heart hurts for them and the young boy (an apparent reference to slain 6-year-old Stephen Romero).”

The store’s Facebook page says it is “veteran owned” and offers a link for online shopping of rifles, handguns, shotguns and other items.

The store did not immediately respond to a phone message Monday.

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Sam Stanton has worked for The Bee since 1991 and has covered a variety of issues, including politics, criminal justice and breaking news.
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