Home U.S. NEWS California biker bar shooting: 3 dead, 6 injured. What happened?

California biker bar shooting: 3 dead, 6 injured. What happened?

California biker bar shooting: 3 dead, 6 injured. What happened?

At least three people were killed in a shooting at a historic biker bar Wednesday night in Southern California’s Orange County. The gunman was also killed, bringing the total to four dead, while there were six people who were injured.

What we know now: The shooting broke out at around 7 p.m. at Cook’s Corner, an iconic biker bar in a rural community of Orange County, and it took place during an $8 spaghetti dinner special, CNN reported. Nearly 40 people were there when the shooting erupted.

The gunman was shot by “multiple” police deputies and killed a few minutes after the shooting started. Investigations into the shooting continue, but one law enforcement official did say the suspected gunman was a retired law enforcement officer who had retired from another agency in Southern California. According to The New York Times, the gunman “had been targeting his estranged wife, who was among the victims.”

“It’s an absolute tragic event and something that I know is probably weighing very heavy on the entire Trabuco Canyon community,” Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock told CNN. “Cook’s Corner, it’s a staple here.”

The Orange County sheriff’s mobile command post uses the parking lot at Saddleback Church as as staging area in Lake Forest, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, after a fatal shooting at Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon. | Leonard Ortiz, The Orange County Register via Associated Press

Sequence of events: Details about how the shooting started are still being investigating. Here is what happened, according to the Los Angeles Times.

  • Authorities received several 911 calls around 7 p.m.

  • Deputies arrived at the scene within two minutes. Upon arrival, they discovered a man opening fire with a gun.

  • 911 reports stated they heard six gunshots, and multiple shots were recorded during the calls.

  • Deputies “pinned down the retired Ventura police officer by a silver truck,” and fired multiple shots, fatally shooting the gunman.

What witnesses reported: One man said his friend died while they were fleeing the shots. He assumed his friend tripped, but he learned later that he had actually been shot in the back and killed. Looking for a place to hide from the shooter, “he barricaded himself in the kitchen with a man he described as a cook who’d been shot in the arm,” he told CBS News.

He also mentioned to CBS News that he saw a woman who pleaded with the gunman, “Please don’t shoot me, I’m five months pregnant.” The gunman let her leave.

What’s the history behind Cook’s Corner as a biker bar?

The “legendary landmark” bar opened in the 1970s and operated as a popular stop for motorcyclists driving through the Santa Ana Mountains foothills, per the Times.

“The public, in general, might have the wrong impression that this is a rough and tumble place where there is a lot of hard drinking and hard partying and you know, decent people don’t go there,” Wendy Koro, operations manager for Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, told CBS News regarding Cook’s Corner. “It really couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Creedence and Company, a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, was scheduled to play that night and responded on their Facebook page, saying, “Our thoughts, prayers & condolences go out to everyone in the Cooks Corner community.”

On the Cook’s Corner website, it reads, “We’ve experienced major earthquakes, forest fires, floods, recessions and other disasters. We’ve gotten through all of them and came out stronger.”


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