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

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.

Key Points

  • Gunman was retired police officer, Orange County authorities told

  • One weapon recovered from the scene, police say

  • At least four dead in shooting at historic California biker bar

Victims’ names are released

23:39 , Andrea Blanco

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has identified the fatal victims as John Leehey, 67, Tonya Clark, 49, and Glen Sprowl, 53.

“We stand in mourning alongside the family and friends of Tonya, John and Glen. We continue to extend our sincerest condolences to all who knew and loved them,” the department said in a statement on Friday.

“These three members of our community were tragically killed Wednesday in a shooting at Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon. Please join us in wishing their loved ones comfort during this extremely difficult time.”

Gunman in Cook’s Corner shooting identified as retired police officer John Snowling

20:26 , Andrea Blanco

The suspected gunman in Wednesday night’s shooting at a biker’s bar in California has been identified as retired police officer John Snowling.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Snowling, a former officer from the City of Ventura, died during a confrontation with law enforcement. Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said he couldn’t confirm whether Snowling was killed by deputies but said it was “safe to assume” so, local news station KTLA reports.

The violence broke out around 7pm at the Cook’s Corner bar. Four people, including the suspected gunman, were killed.

Read more:

Gunman in Cook’s Corner shooting identified as retired police officer John Snowling

Who was alleged gunman John Snowling?

18:56 , Andrea Blanco

The suspected gunman was identified on Thursday as retired police officer John Snowling.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said that Snowling had been employed by the Ventura Police Department from 1984 until his retirement in 2014. According to an article published in 2012, Snowling led a patrol task force within the agency.

Local media reports said that the incident began as a domestic dispute between the shooter and his wife, Marie Snowling.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said it was looking into reports that the suspect first shot his wife at the bar.

Gunman’s wife was wounded during the attack but survived

17:27 , Andrea Blanco

Snowling’s estranged wife Marie Snowling was shot during the altercation.

Despite earlier reports that she had not survived the attack, her father William Mosby told The Orange County on Wednesday that Ms Snowling is recovering from her injuries at Providence Mission Hospital Mission Viejo.

“Her friend in the bar said she was shot in the lower jaw,” Mr Mosby told the outlet. “I’m extremely relieved, what I heard was the worst.”

Mr Mosby described Snowling as a “crazy husband” who couldn’t cope with Ms Snowling’s request for a divorce.

Who are the victims?

15:22 , Andrea Blanco

Police only named one of the fatal victims: 67-year-old John Leehey of Irvine, California

One of the other two victims was a woman dining near Marie Snowling, The woman exited the bar and reached the roadway before succumbing to her injuries.

John Snowling travelled from Ohio to carry out the attack, officials say

15:18 , Andrea Blanco

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said on Thursday that Snowling opened fire on his estranged wife Marie Snowling, her dining companion, and another man who approached him as Snowling tried to retrieve more weapons from his vehicle.

Snowling then started shooting indiscriminately, police said. Snowling killed three people and wounded six others before he was taken down by police within minutes of starting the carnage.

Marie Snowling, who was shot in the face, survived the shooting and is recovering in hospital.

Sheriff Don Barnes said that Snowling did not exchange any words with his estranged wife before the violence unfolded.

Mr Barnes highlighted that although the Cook’s Corner “may have been a biker’s bar thirty years ago,” it is now a place for families and the community to gather.

Deputies were at the scene within two minutes and located Snowling in the parking lot of the Cook’s Corner. He then reportedly began shooting at deputies with a shotgun and struck a patrol car’s windshield.

The four weapons seized by authorities had been purchased legally.

Mr Barnes said Snowling travelled from Ohio, where he owned a property, before the shooting.

A ‘domestic dispute’ spilled into historic biker bar Cook’s Corner. It ended with a mass shooting

13:30 , Andrea Blanco

It began just like any other Wednesday night at the popular biker bar.

Motorcycle riders and enthusiasts had gathered for drinks, food and fun with friends at Cook’s Corner, one of the most famous biker bars and restaurants in southern California.

But, this one night took a devastating turn when a gunman opened fire, leaving at least three people dead and many others injured.

The Independent’s Faiza Saqib reports:

What we know about the Cook’s Corner biker bar shooting

Three weapons seized by police

12:30 , Andrea Blanco

A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation who spoke with the Los Angeles Times under the condition of anonymity said that Snowling had three guns: two handguns and a shotgun used during his confrontation with police.

The Orange County’s Sheriff Office told KTLA on Thursday that it could not be confirmed whether Snowling was struck by deputies’ gunfire but that “it was safe” to assume so.

More than 460 mass shootings in US this year so far

11:30 , Andrea Blanco

So far this year, the US has witnessed at least 465 mass shootings, according to the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive.

The US crossed 400 shootings mark in July, the earliest ever recorded in a year since 2013, it said.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward filed this report last month:

America’s mass shooting crisis, in numbers

John Snowling’s estranged wife recovering from gunshot wound, family say

10:30 , Andrea Blanco

Snowling’s estranged wife Marie Snowling was shot during the altercation.

Despite earlier reports that she had not survived the attack, her father William Mosby told The Orange County on Thursday that Ms Snowling is recovering from her injuries at Providence Mission Hospital Mission Viejo.

“Her friend in the bar said she was shot in the lower jaw,” Mr Mosby told the outlet. “I’m extremely relieved, what I heard was the worst.”

Mr Mosby described Snowling as a “crazy husband” who couldn’t cope with Ms Snowling’s request for a divorce.

Neighbour says John Snowling was ‘standofish’

09:30 , Andrea Blanco

According to the Los Angeles Times, Marie Snowling filed for divorce in December 2022.

A neighbour of the Snowlings told the Times that he believed the Snowlings’ marital issues stemmed from Ms Snowling wanting to go out more often, while her estranged husband wanted to stay at home.

“John was always kind of a standoffish kind of person,” James Goldsmith, 68, told the outlet. “He wasn’t the most personable guy, not that I can say that there was anything really negative. He wasn’t the type of neighbour that you’d get the warm fuzzies from.”

Mr Goldmisth said that Ms Snowling had moved out and now lived with her mother after she filed for divorce last year.

Snowling had recently bought a home in Ohio and was spending most of his time there, Mr Goldsmith said.

“I think it reached a point where it felt like life was passing her by because he didn’t want to do anything,” Mr Goldmisth told the Times.

“He would barely maintain the house. I think she wanted to have friends and live life and that’s why I think she made the move that she did. It’s sad that he couldn’t allow that and let her live her own life.”

Estranged wife was the target, official says

08:30 , Andrea Blanco

A law enforcement official who spoke about the shooting under the condition of anonymity told The New York Times that the suspected gunman was targeting his wife Marie Snowling when he carried out the Thursday attack at Cook’s Corner.

Ms Snowling’s wife was injured but survived the attack, according to her father.

John Snowling, a retired law enforcement officer, was killed during the confrontation.

Three other people died in the carnage, while six others were wounded.

WATCH: Witness describes scene following Cook’s Corner shooting

07:30 , Andrea Blanco

Authorities have yet to release victims’ names

05:30 , Andrea Blanco

Four people were killed during the attack, and six others were injured during the violence.

Two of the wounded remain in critical condition.

Local officials have not identified the victims, but family members and friends have confirmed that Marie Snowling, the gunman’s estranged wife, is among the injured.

She is being treated for gunshot wounds.

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

04:30 , Andrea Blanco

Expressing his sorrow after the shooting, 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.

Who was the alleged gunman?

03:30 , Andrea Blanco

The suspected gunman was identified on Thursday as retired police officer John Snowling.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said that Snowling had been employed by the Ventura Police Department from 1984 until his retirement in 2014. According to an article published in 2012, Snowling led a patrol task force within the agency.

Local media reports said that the incident began as a domestic dispute between the shooter and his wife, Marie Snowling.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said it was looking into reports that the suspect first shot his wife at the bar.

WATCH: Shooting at Cook’s Corner in Orange County

Friday 25 August 2023 00:30 , Andrea Blanco

Ventura Police Department offers condolences to families of Cook’s Corner shooting victims

Thursday 24 August 2023 23:30 , Andrea Blanco

The suspected gunman who opened fire on a crowd at the Cook’s Corner bar on Wednesday night was identified on Thursday as former Ventura police officer John Snowling.

Snowling was employed by the agency from 1984 until his retirement in 2014.

“Our hearts weigh heavy with the distressing incident at Cook’s Corner,” Ventura Police Department Chief Darin Schindler said in a statement following the tragedy.

“Our deepest condolences are with the families of the victims, the survivors, and the Orange County deputies who swiftly responded to the scene. This incident deeply affects us all.”

Snowling’s wife filed for divorce a year ago

Thursday 24 August 2023 22:30 , Andrea Blanco

According to the Los Angeles Times, Marie Snowling filed for divorce in December 2022.

A neighbour of the Snowlings told the Times that he believed the Snowlings’ marital issues stemmed from Ms Snowling wanting to go out more often, while her estranged husband wanted to stay at home.

“John was always kind of a standoffish kind of person,” James Goldsmith, 68, told the outlet. “He wasn’t the most personable guy, not that I can say that there was anything really negative. He wasn’t the type of neighbour that you’d get the warm fuzzies from.”

Mr Goldmisth said that Ms Snowling had moved out and now lived with her mother after she filed for divorce last year.

Snowling had recently bought a home in Ohio and was spending most of his time there, Mr Goldsmith said.

“I think it reached a point where it felt like life was passing her by because he didn’t want to do anything,” Mr Goldmisth told the Times.

“He would barely maintain the house. I think she wanted to have friends and live life and that’s why I think she made the move that she did. It’s sad that he couldn’t allow that and let her live her own life.”

Suspected shooter targeted estranged wife, official says

Thursday 24 August 2023 21:12 , Andrea Blanco

A law enforcement official who spoke about the shooting under the condition of anonymity told The New York Times that the suspected gunman was targeting his wife Marie Snowling when he carried out the Thursday attack at Cook’s Corner.

Ms Snowling’s wife was injured but survived the attack, according to her father.

John Snowling, a retired law enforcement officer, was killed during the confrontation.

Three other people died in the carnage, while six others were wounded.

It began like any normal night at historic biker bar Cook’s Corner. It ended with a mass shooting

Thursday 24 August 2023 20:12 , Andrea Blanco

A regular night at a popular biker bar took a devastating turn when gunfire broke out.

The Independent’s Faiza Saqib reports:

What we know about the Cook’s Corner biker bar shooting

Gunman in Cook’s Corner shooting identified as retired police officer John Snowling

Thursday 24 August 2023 18:14 , Andrea Blanco

The suspected gunman in Wednesday night’s shooting at a biker’s bar in California has been identified as retired police officer John Snowling.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Snowling, a former officer from the City of Ventura, died during a confrontation with law enforcement. Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said he couldn’t confirm whether Snowling was killed by deputies but said it was “safe to assume” so, local news station KTLA reports.

The violence broke out around 7pm at the Cook’s Corner bar. Four people, including the suspected gunman, were killed.

Read more:

Gunman in Cook’s Corner shooting identified as retired police officer John Snowling

Gunman’s wife was wounded during the attack but survived, father says

Thursday 24 August 2023 18:00 , Andrea Blanco

Snowling’s estranged wife Marie Snowling was shot during the altercation.

Despite earlier reports that she had not survived the attack, her father William Mosby told The Orange County on Wednesday that Ms Snowling is recovering from her injuries at Providence Mission Hospital Mission Viejo.

“Her friend in the bar said she was shot in the lower jaw,” Mr Mosby told the outlet. “I’m extremely relieved, what I heard was the worst.”

Mr Mosby described Snowling as a “crazy husband” who couldn’t cope with Ms Snowling’s request for a divorce.

Cook’s Corner was hosting ‘Spaghetti night’ when shooting unfolded

Thursday 24 August 2023 17:25 , Andrea Blanco

Cook’s Corner is a popular, longtime watering hole for the biker community in Southern California.

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

The biker bar was hosting its usual “spaghetti night” when violence broke out on Wednesday night.

John Snowling identified as shooting suspect

Thursday 24 August 2023 16:52 , Megan Sheets

The shooting suspect who was killed after gunning down nine people - three fatally - has been identified as former police officer John Snowling, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Citing police sources, the outlet said Snowling was a retired sergeant with the Ventura Police Department.

Snowling’s wife was said to be among the shooting victims.

Suspected shooter was targeting estranged wife, official says

Thursday 24 August 2023 16:25 , Andrea Blanco

A law enforcement official who spoke about the shooting under the condition of anonymity told The New York Times that the suspected gunman was targeting his wife when he carried out the Thursday attack at Cook’s Corner.

His wife was among the dead on Thursday. The suspect, a retired law enforcement officer, was also killed by police.

Two other people died in the carnage, while six others were wounded.

Survivor claims shooter spared pregnant woman’s life

Thursday 24 August 2023 15:13 , Andrea Blanco

A man who survived the shooting on Wednesday night told CBS that he barricaded himself in the kitchen until the shooting ended.

The man also said he heard a woman pleading for her life, reportedly telling the shooter: “Please don’t shoot me, I’m 5 months pregnant.”

The suspected shooter, believed to be former law enforcement, allegedly told her: “Get out of here”

Suspected shooter was retired law enforcement officer

Thursday 24 August 2023 14:19 , Andrea Blanco

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

The gunman has been shot dead by deputies who responded to the scene, local TV station KCAL News reported, and is among the death toll of four.

There were “multiple victims” and the injured were being taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, the Orange Country Sheriff said in an earlier post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Estranged wife of suspect against dead - report

Thursday 24 August 2023 09:30 , Shweta Sharma

The wife of the suspect shooter was among those who were killed in the shooting on late Wednesday at Cook’s Corner in rural Trabuco Canyon in Orange County.

A law enforcement official, who was not authorised to speak due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, said the suspect was targeting his wife, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the New York Times.

The suspect, who was shot dead in a confrontation with the deputies is said to be a retired police officer at an agency elsewhere in Southern California.

465 mass shootings in US this year so far

Thursday 24 August 2023 09:00 , Shweta Sharma

So far this year, the US has witnessed at least 465 mass shootings, according to the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive.

The US crossed 400 shootings mark in July, the earliest ever recorded in a year since 2013, it said.

Police say tragic event ‘weighing very heavy’ on Trabuco Canyon community

Thursday 24 August 2023 08:50 , Shweta Sharma

Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said officers arrived two minutes after the 911 calls.

“At that point, a deputy-involved shooting occurred and that involved multiple deputies,” he said.

“It’s an absolute tragic event and something that I know is probably weighing very heavy on the entire Trabuco Canyon community. Cook’s Corner, it’s a staple here,” Undersheriff Hallock said.

One weapon recovered from the scene, police say

Thursday 24 August 2023 07:27 , Shweta Sharma

Orange County undersheriff Jeff Hallock said one weapon has been recovered from the scene.

The officers gave little new details about the shooting and said the investigation is ongoing.

Providing an initial timeline, they said police received multiple 911 calls at 7.04pm and two minutes later deputies arrived at the scene, with gunshots being heard in the background by dispatchers.

At 7.08pm a deputy confronted the shooter, which led to a deputy–involved shooting involving multiple deputies.

The undersheriff said it was too early to confirm when he was asked if the shooting ensued after a domestic dispute.

Press conference begins

Thursday 24 August 2023 07:11 , Shweta Sharma

Orange County police call it a “very difficult night” and said deputies arrived on the scene “very quickly”.

Police say that they want to remind everyone that they are just three hours from the time the shooting occurred and they have a number of victims and they are interviewing witnesses.

Police are working with 30-40 witnesses.

“It is a complex and detailed scene,” an officer said.

Gunman was retired police officer, Orange County authorities told

Thursday 24 August 2023 07:07 , Shweta Sharma

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.

Two people among six wounded in critical condition at hospital

Thursday 24 August 2023 06:53 , Shweta Sharma

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.

Orange Country Sheriff to address press conference

Thursday 24 August 2023 06:18 , Shweta Sharma

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.

Scene of shooting a popular bar dating back to 1884

Thursday 24 August 2023 06:09 , Shweta Sharma

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.”

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

Thursday 24 August 2023 06:00 , Shweta Sharma

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.

First visuals from the scene

Thursday 24 August 2023 05:45 , Shweta Sharma

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.

California governor monitoring situation after shooting

Thursday 24 August 2023 05:41 , Shweta Sharma

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.

At least four dead in shooting at historic California biker bar

Thursday 24 August 2023 05:36 , Shweta Sharma

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

Four dead including gunman in California bar shooting

Thursday 24 August 2023 05:36 , Shweta Sharma

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.

Thursday 24 August 2023 05:24 , Shweta Sharma

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.