Cook's Corner GM speaks publicly for first time since mass shooting

The general manager of Cook's Corner in Trabuco Canyon has spoken out publicly for the first time since a gunman opened fire in her restaurant last week, killing three and injuring six more

Rhonda Palmeri shared a heartfelt message with the bar's patrons and the local community via a Facebook Live Sunday afternoon. In her short video, Palmeri shared her condolences as well as the bar's plans moving forward.

"On behalf of Cook's Corner, myself and the staff, I would like to send my most sincere condolences to the families of Tonya, Glen and John, and all the injured, and those fighting for their lives, and the friends and family of Cook's Corner who were here on Wednesday, Aug. 23, for the most horrific act by one man, who's changed the lives of so many," Palmeri said.

Tonya Clark, 49, Glen Sprowl Jr., 53 and John Leehey, 67, were all shot and killed the night of Aug. 23, after a gunman started shooting in the restaurant. Officials believe all three, however, were not the intended victims of the shooting. Six others were hospitalized, including several in critical condition. 

The suspected gunman, identified as John Snowling, a retired Ventura Police sargent, is accused of walking into the restaurant around 7 p.m. that night with multiple guns, and shooting at his estranged wife Marie Snowling, before continuing to shoot up the restaurant. John Snowling was also killed that night in an interaction with deputies.

"We would like to thank everybody for all your love support and prayers," Palmeri continued in her video message. "The outpouring of love and support of our community has truly been amazing, and the quick actions of our first responders and Orange County law enforcement."


Palmeri's video was flooded with hundreds of comments from the community wishing her and the Cook's Corner family well in the aftermath of the shooting. 

Palmeri added that the restaurant will be holding a "private intimate gathering" with the family and friends of those who were there that night to honor them, and that she does not yet know when Cook's Corner will reopen to the public.

"Thank you all again, on behalf of all of us here at Cook's Corner," Palmeri said. "We really truly love you and all of our community and friends and family. Thank you."