The gunman who killed three people at the Cook's Corner bar in Orange County was identified as John Snowling, 59, a 28-year police officer who retired in 2014 and was the former chief of a police fraternity. Snowling shot his wife, who was divorcing him, and eight others before sheriff's deputies arrived and shot him dead. Six, including his wife, are being treated for their injuries.
Sheriff's investigators say there were no restraining orders or allegations of domestic violence between the couple. The attorney representing John Snowling in the divorce agreed there were no warning signs. "There was certainly no red flag that anything like this would happen," attorney Tristan Tegroen told Eyewitness News. "No one ever disussed restraining orders or domestic violence or anything like that." The name of one victim who died in the shooting has been released – John M. Leehey, 67, of Irvine. The names of the other victims have not been released yet.
Fortunate that Orange County deputies were nearby: they arrived within a minute or two and he was working the crowd fast with his collection of legally-acquired firearms and long-cultivated rage.
The Daily Beast has more on Snowling's background and those targeted in the attack.
Snowling was photographed by the Los Angeles Times in 2000 while patrolling the Pacific View Mall in Ventura, about 60 miles up the coast from Los Angeles. He told the paper back then, "This isn't LA, where we have shootings and stabbings." Records show he was employed by the Ventura Police Department between 1986 and 2014, retiring as a sergeant.
Survivors also detailed Wednesday's terrifying scene, including Snowling "unloading" two guns on bar-goers before engaging in a shootout with deputies, who killed him in the parking lot.
Witnesses said there were two birthday parties being held at the bar on Wednesday, which had a live band playing as it served up $8 spaghetti plates as its nightly special.
He was "very, very controlling," his wife once told someone.