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New details emerged on Friday, two days after a mass shooting rocked the Orange County community.
On Wednesday night, gunshots rang out at the Cook’s Corner bar in the Trabuco Canyon community in front of terrified patrons. Three innocent people were killed and six others were injured. The suspected gunman, identified by authorities as 59-year-old John Snowling, was also killed in the shooting. He was a retired officer with the Ventura Police Department.
While the bar is commonly known as a biker bar, it’s also a cherished community staple and has a sign that reads "Children Welcome" out front.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed with FOX 11’s Gigi Graciette on Friday morning that a 7-month-old baby and several teenagers were at the bar at the time of the shooting.
Federal and local authorities continue to investigate.
What we know about the suspected gunman
On Thursday morning, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer identified the suspect as 59-year-old John Snowling. The Orange County DA’s office confirmed he was a Ventura Police Department officer who retired as a sergeant in 2014.
Snowling was among the four killed. Investigators believe he was killed following a confrontation with deputies.
"Our hearts weigh heavy with the distressing incident at Cook's Corner," shared Chief Darin Schindler of the Ventura Police Department. "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."
Ventura Police officers John Snowling patrol the Pacific View Mall routinely. (Photo by Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Photo taken in 2000) (Getty Images)
William Mosby, a Lake Forest resident, told the Orange County Register the suspected gunman was his 61-year-old daughter’s estranged husband. Mosby called his former son-in-law "crazy" and said he didn’t take the divorce well.
He added that his daughter frequently attended the bar for the weekly special and believed his daughter was the one being targeted that tragic evening. Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes confirmed the suspect's wife was one of the shooting survivors.
Barnes said Snowling had legally obtained the weapons used in the shooting.
It was also revealed Thursday that the son of the shooting suspect is a firefighter engineer with the Ventura County Fire Department.
"Our sympathies go out to all the families. We are doing our best to support our Engineer and his family," the department said in a statement.
What we know about the victims
Health officials said six victims – including the suspect's wife – were taken to Providence Mission Hospital, a trauma center in Mission Viejo, which is about 10 miles from where the tragedy unfolded.
On Friday afternoon, the Orange County Sheriff's Department revealed the identities of those killed in the mass shooting: John Leehy, 67, Tonya Clark, 49, and Glen Sprowl Jr., 53.
- Cook's Corner mass shooting: Dead gunman believed to be retired cop
- 4 dead, including suspect; several others hurt at popular OC bar
Five of the six injured suffered gunshot wounds and the sixth victim was treated for another injury that hasn’t been specified by officials. The suspect's wife was among the shooting survivors.
All of the shooting victims were adults, Barnes said. No children were hurt in the shooting.
As of Thursday morning, two of the victims, an adult male and an adult female, were in critical condition and four others were stable. The male victim remains in critical, but stable condition, and the female victim was stabilized and transferred to UCI Medical Center in Orange.
FOX 11 learned two of those hospitalized were band members who were performing at the time of the shooting. On Thursday, FOX 11 spoke with some of the members of the band, who recalled being face-to-face with Snowling.
"Most of us didn't think it was real," said Debbie Johnson, one of the shooting survivors. "We thought it was a gag."
"You realize it went from party mode to really sheer panic," said Mark Johnson, one of the shooting survivors.
Both Debbie and Mark Johnson were not hurt in the shooting. Debbie said a woman killed in the shooting was celebrating her birthday.
The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were investigating with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Are you or someone you know a recent survivor of domestic violence? Help is available. Los Angeles County has a hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-978-3600. A national hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.