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Hundreds gather to honor victims of Orange County mass shooting

Hundreds attended a community gathering and prayer in Lake Forest on Friday night to honor victims killed in a mass shooting at Cook’s Corner bar on Wednesday.

The gathering was held at Saddleback Church as a caravan of motorcyclists, along with parishioners and families, arrived at the church to mourn the lives lost.

Three people were killed and six others injured in the shooting.

The victims were identified Friday morning as:
-Tonya Clark, 49, of Scottsdale, Arizona
-John Leehey, 67, of Irvine
-Glen Sprowl Jr., 53, of Stanton

The alleged gunman John Snowling (59) died in a shootout with officers on Wednesday evening. Snowling was a retired Ventura police sergeant who worked for the agency for 28 years before retiring in 2014.

During filming, customers enjoyed the bar’s famous spaghetti night while a live band played at Trabuco Canyon’s popular biker bar.

When gunfire erupted around 7:05 p.m., witnesses recalled the chaos that ensued as guests shouted, ran and ducked for cover.

“He had two guns in his hands,” recalled Skip Patrick, a witness. “He started shooting at me. He just kept shooting and shooting. It sounded like he fired over 100 rounds.”

“I was running for my life and I couldn’t get my kids and my boyfriend out of my mind,” recalled witness Jaqueline Bass. “I thought I would never see her again.”

According to investigators, Snowling was armed with three handguns and a shotgun when he entered the popular bar and restaurant after driving across the country from Ohio, where he lived.

  • Victims of the Orange County mass shooting, Tonya Clark and John Leehey, are seen in photos released by the Orange County Sheriff's Department on Aug. 25, 2023.
  • M Street Band
  • John Snowling
  • Authorities responded after several people were shot dead at Cook's Corner, a biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, on August 23, 2023.  (OnScene.TV)
  • Authorities responded after several people were shot dead at Cook's Corner, a biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, on August 23, 2023.  (OnScene.TV)
  • Authorities responded after several people were shot dead at Cook's Corner, a biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, on August 23, 2023.  (KTLA)
  • Authorities responded after several people were shot dead at Cook's Corner, a biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, on August 23, 2023.  (KTLA)
  • Authorities responded after several people were shot dead at Cook's Corner, a biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, on August 23, 2023.  (OnScene.TV)
  • Authorities responded after several people were shot dead at Cook's Corner, a biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, on August 23, 2023.  (KTLA)

He approached his estranged wife Marie Snowling at the bar and shot her in the face. There appeared to be no discussion, altercation or confrontation before Snowling began shooting, OC Sheriff Don Barnes said.

Snowling then shot and killed Clark, his wife’s friend, who died from her injuries trying to leave the restaurant, OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. He continued to shoot patrons indiscriminately inside and outside the bar and at one point returned to his truck to retrieve the shotgun and another handgun.

Marie, who now lives in Orange County, was hospitalized in critical condition but was alert and speaking at the time.

Eventually, officers arrived and found Snowling in the parking lot, where he opened fire, hitting several squad cars. Several police officers returned fire, killing Snowline at the scene.

As parishioners, the well wishers of Cook’s Corner and the families of the victims gathered to commemorate the three victims and the many others injured and took comfort in each other’s presence.

“These are our friends, these are our family,” said John Flera, a Cook’s Corner guest. “These are the people we care about and to see this happening in our own backyard is absolutely devastating.”

“I escaped unhurt and I’m very grateful for that,” Bass said through tears. “Seeing everyone coming together gives me strength.”

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