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Cook’s Corner shooting - latest: Victims are named as ex-cop suspect John Snowling’s divorce details emerge

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office identified the gunman as retired Ventura Police sergeant John Snowling, 59

Shweta Sharma,Andrea Blanco
Monday 28 August 2023 13:53 BST
Cook's Corner mass shooting: At least 4 dead

At least four people have been killed and others are being treated for gunshot wounds after a mass shooting at a popular bikers’ bar in California’s Orange County.

The Orange County sheriff said those killed included the suspected gunman, identified by The Orange County Sheriff’s Department as John Snowling, 59.

Three people died and six others were injured before Snowling was killed by law enforcement. The fatal victims have been identified as John Leehey, 67, Tonya Clark, 49, and Glen Sprowl, 53.

The incident began with a domestic dispute between the gunman and his wife. Snowling, a retired law enforcement officer with the Ventura Police Department, opened fire on his wife Marie Snowling and her dining companion.

Sheriff Don Barnes said on Thursday that Snowling then continued shooting indiscriminately. A man who approached Snwoling as the gunman retrieved more weapons from his vehicle was fatally shot.

Ms Snowling had filed for divorce in December 2022, according to The Los Angeles Times. A neighbour of the couple told the outlet she had moved in with her ailing mother while Snowling was spending most of his time in Ohio, where he owned a property.


Welcome to The Independent’s live blog on the shooting at Cook’s Corner bar in California’s Orange County, where at least four people have died.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 05:24

Four dead including gunman in California bar shooting

A mass shooting has killed four people and six others are injured after a man opened fire at the popular biker’s cafe Cooks Corner in Southern California.

“Incident scene at Cooks Corner is static. We are in unified command with @OCFA. Confirmed 4 deceased at scene, inc. the shooter. 6 transported to hospitals, 5 reported w/gunshot wounds. Officer-involved shooting occurred during the incident. No deputies injured,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet.

The suspect, who is believed to be a retired law enforcement agent, was reportedly shot dead by deputies.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 05:36

At least four dead in shooting at historic California biker bar

At least four people, including the suspect, have been killed and six others wounded in a mass shooting at a well-known bikers’ bar in Trabuco Canyon, California.

According to initial reports, a retired law enforcement officer opened fire at the biker’s cafe called Cook’s Corner.

Read our full report.

At least four dead in shooting at historic California biker bar

Suspect is identified as retired law enforcement officer

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 05:36

California governor monitoring situation after shooting

California governor Gavin Newsom was monitoring the shooting and “coordinating with local officials”, his office said.

He said more details of the shooting are awaited.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 05:41

First visuals from the scene

Visuals from the scene from outside Cook’s Corner cafe show the mass deployment of police vehicles and ambulances in rural Trabuco Canyon in Orange County.

Cook’s Corner stands as a popular hub for the motorcycle community in Southern California. Numerous motorbike riders and passionate enthusiasts regularly visit this spot on weeknights and weekends, drawn by live music, open-mic sessions, and the simple pleasure of a chilled beer following an extensive ride.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 05:45

‘I'm devastated,’ California senator calls for end to gun violence in America

Expressing his sorrow, California state senator Dave Min issued a statement urging an end to the scourge of gun violence.

“I’m devastated at the news of yet another mass shooting tonight, this time at Cook’s Corner, a historic bar in the heart of Orange County,” he said.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 06:00

Scene of shooting a popular bar dating back to 1884

Cook’s Corner, where the mass shooting broke out on Wednesday evening, is a popular, longtime watering hole for the biker community in Southern California.

It is “considered to be one of the most famous biker bar & restaurants in Southern California,” its website says.

Many motorcycle riders and enthusiasts come there on weeknights and during the weekend to enjoy live music, open-mic nights or just a cold beer after a long ride.

Hours before the shooting, several patrons were stopping by Cook’s Corner for an afternoon drink and meal.

Rows of motorcycles and bikes framed the gravel entrance where plaques describe the storied history of the bar built in 1884.

“We’ve experienced major earthquakes, forest fires, floods, recessions and other disasters,” the bar wrote on its website. “We’ve gotten through all of them and came out stronger.”

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 06:09

Orange Country Sheriff to address press conference

Orange County Sheriff’s Department is now preparing for a media briefing at El Toro Rd and Marguerite Parkway.

The media briefing is scheduled for 10.45pm, the office said.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 06:18

Two people among six wounded in critical condition at hospital

Six people who suffered injuries were taken to hospital after the shooting at the popular biker’s cafe in Orange County.

Five of them suffered gunshot wounds, the sheriff’s department posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Two people were in critical condition, Providence Mission Hospital, a trauma center in Mission Viejo, said in a statement.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 06:53

Gunman was retired police officer, Orange County authorities told

The gunman who opened fire at Cook’s Corner in rural Trabuco Canyon was a retired police officer with the Ventura Police Department, department Cmdr Mike Brown was told by Orange County authorities.

According to the Ventura County Star newspaper, he worked at the police department from 1986 to 2014, Mr Brown said.

Orange County authorities have not yet publicly confirmed details about the gunman, including his name, nor how the shooting unfolded, but planned a news conference for late Wednesday.

Shweta Sharma24 August 2023 07:07

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