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25 Aug, 2023 21:29

California man shoots estranged wife and nine others 

Alleged gunman John Snowling was killed by sheriff’s deputies after turning his weapons on them, officials said 
California man shoots estranged wife and nine others 

A man murdered his wife and nine others in a mass shooting on Wednesday in California. Soon-to-be-divorced John Snowling reportedly shot ten people, including his estranged wife Marie, at a bar in Traduce Canyon on Wednesday, before he was gunned down by police, local officials confirmed to reporters on Thursday. 

Snowling, 59, allegedly entered the Cook’s Corner bar around 7pm local time on Wednesday brandishing two guns. He first shot his wife and her female dinner companion without engaging them in conversation, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Don Barnes told the press conference.  

When Snowling fled to the parking lot, supposedly to retrieve two more guns, he was confronted by another bystander, whom he also allegedly shot. He then supposedly turned his weapon on the newly arrived sheriff’s deputies, who returned fire more than 75 times, killing him, according to Barnes.   

Marie Snowling’s friend is said to have died at the scene along with landscape architect John Leehey and another person who was not named. Most of the injured victims were stabilized at Providence Mission Hospital, while Mary was taken there and then to UCI Medical Center after she was shot in the jaw. 

There was no restraining order in place that would have kept Snowling from legally approaching his wife, and while the couple’s most recent divorce proceeding happened earlier this month, its substance was not immediately known to Orange County officials. However, Snowling had no recorded history of domestic violence, Barnes noted.  

California Governor Gavin Newsom nevertheless appeared to chalk the incident up to domestic violence in a statement on Thursday, urging Californians to make copious use of the state’s ‘red flag’ laws, which allow family, loved ones, and even co-workers to seek protective orders against their gun-owning acquaintances and even have their legally obtained guns removed from their possession.  

This type of trauma is unfortunately not isolated,” Newsom said, declaring that “two-thirds of mass shooters in America have a history of domestic violence.” 

If you see red flags, say something – and in doing so, save lives,” the governor, and likely Democratic presidential candidate, added.  

Snowling was a 28-year veteran of the Ventura Police Department. He had worked as a licensed private investigator and retired as a sergeant from the police force in 2014. His state firearms permit expired in 2017, and it was not known as of Thursday if he had obtained another one. 

The former cop’s wife had filed for divorce in December, while a friend, William Mosby, told reporters in an interview on Wednesday that Snowling was a “crazy husband” who could not handle the separation.