Suspect in bar killing in Trabuco Canyon shooting identified

By SDCN Editor

Trabuco Canyon, CA–Orange County Sheriff Department investigators Thursday released additional details about the suspect allegedly involved in a mass shooting that killed three people, including the gunman Wednesday at a bar in Trabuco Canyon in Orange County. 

On Wednesday, deputies responded to reports of a shooting around 7:04 p.m. at Cook’s Corner. Deputies arrived at the scene within two minutes, and dispatchers could hear gunfire in the background as deputies tried to locate the shooter.

Deputies contacted John Snowling, 59, of Ohio, who was armed with multiple firearms. The suspect fired multiple rounds at the deputies with at least one round going through the windshield of a patrol unit. 

A deputy-involved shooting involving multiple deputies occurred, and the suspect was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies began providing lifesaving measures to multiple victims at the scene. Three victims were pronounced dead, including John Leehey, 67, of Irvine. The identification of the other two deceased, an adult male and an adult female, is pending notification of next of kin by the coroner. 

The Orange County Fire Authority responded to provide additional advanced medical aid and transported six additional adult victims with gunshot wounds to local hospitals.

Based on preliminary findings of the investigation, evidence collected, and statements from witnesses, investigators believe the suspect drove from Ohio to California to target his wife over a domestic dispute. Three handguns and one shotgun belonging to the suspect were recovered at the scene.

The suspect was confirmed to be a retired sergeant with the Ventura Police Department, who served from July 1986 through February 2014.

Orange County Sheriff investigators served a search warrant at a residence associated with the suspect in Camarillo. Investigators currently are processing multiple items of evidence from the search warrant and at the scene.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing.

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