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Rest In Peace 6-year-old Stephen Romero, One Of Those Shot And Killed At Gilroy Garlic Festival

Culture & Community By O. DELGADO11327 views
Rest In Peace 6-year-old Stephen Romero, One Of Those Shot And Killed At Gilroy Garlic Festival

"My son had his whole life to live," said father Alberto Romero.

Stephen Romero turned 6 last month after graduating kindergarten. He was shot and killed when a gunman armed with an AK47-type assault rifle opened fire on the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California. The gunman's most recent Instagram post included references to "mestizos" and Might Is Right, a book promoting white supremacy.

Six-year-old Stephen was attending the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California with his mother and grandmother when the unthinkable happened. 

According to witnesses, a man wearing tactical gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire in the festival's dining area, shooting rapidly and indiscriminately into the crowd.

Fortunately, police were on hand and put the suspect down within minutes, but not before he had killed 6-year-old Stephen, a 13-year-old girl, and a 20-year-old man, as well as wounding a dozen others, including Stephen's mother Barbara Aguirre, who remains in the hospital in a medically induced coma.

According to CNN, the suspect, who cut his way into the festival through a chain-link fence, has been identified as 19-year-old Santino William Legan.

Legan, originally from Gilroy, purchased his assault rifle legally in Nevada, where he had been living with relatives. His last Instagram post prior to the shooting read: "Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white tw**s?"

Might Is Right is a white supremacist text that calls Jesus Christ "the true Prince of Evil" and argues that "the natural order is a world at war in which the strong must vanquish the weak and white men must rule over those of color." Mestizos refers to people of mixed race, specifically Latinos. 

When Stephen's father, Alberto Romero, received a call from his wife, Barbara Aguirre, letting him know that she and their son had been shot, "I couldn’t believe what was happening," he said.

"[I thought] that what she was saying was a lie, that maybe I was dreaming," recalls the 33-year-old electrician.

"They told me that he was in critical condition, that they were working on him," said Alberto. "Five minutes later, they told me he was dead."

Stephen had just turned six last month, after graduating from kindergarten.

"My son had his whole life to live...he was only six," said Stephen's father Alberto Romero. "There’s nothing I really can do besides try to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot."