Gunfire at a California biker bar kills 3 people, plus shooter, and wounds others
TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. (AP) — Gunfire at a popular Southern California biker bar killed three people and wounded several others, and the gunman — believed to be a retired law enforcement officer — was fatally shot by deputies, authorities said.
Some people stood in disbelief and others ran when a sudden flurry of gunshots broke out Wednesday evening at Cook’s Corner, in Orange County’s rural Trabuco Canyon, a witness said.
“It was like a madhouse,” Betty Fruichantie, who was in the bar, told NBC4 Los Angeles. She said she believes the shooter was the husband of a friend who was with her in the bar.
Her friend, Marie, dropped to the floor, but Fruichantie didn’t know whether she was hit. With bullets flying past her face, Fruichantie ran and hid in a restroom with others.
“And when we came out, people were on the floor and people were like over people trying to help them, just holding their wounds,” she said.
William Mosby, of Lake Forest, told The Orange County Register outside Providence Mission Hospital that his daughter, named Marie, was taken to UCI Medical Center after being shot. He initially heard she had been killed, he told the newspaper.
“I’m extremely relieved,” Mosby said. “What I heard was the worst.”
Authorities arrived within two minutes of the first report of a shooting after 7 p.m., and the gunman was also soon dead, Orange County Sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Gonzalez said.
Dozens of patrol cars and ambulances swarmed the bar. Three other people and the gunman were pronounced dead at the scene.
Six others were taken to the hospital, five of them with gunshot wounds, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department posted on social media. Two were in critical condition, according to a statement from Providence Mission Hospital, in nearby Mission Viejo.
UCI Medical center confirmed in a statement that it received one patient from Providence Mission. It said there was no further information on that patient’s identity or condition.
The gunman was a retired officer with the Ventura Police Department, Cmdr. Mike Brown said the department was told by Orange County authorities, according to the Ventura County Star newspaper. He worked at the agency from 1986 to 2014, Brown said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was monitoring the shooting “and coordinating with local officials as more details become available,” his office tweeted.
Cook’s Corner has long been a place for motorcyclists to gather for live music, open-mic nights or just a cold beer after a long ride. It calls itself the oldest motorcycle bar in Southern California and hosts a regular Wednesday spaghetti night, with a band.
Hours before the shooting, rows of motorcycles and bikes framed the gravel entrance where plaques describe the bar’s history. It has become known as a community gathering spot for a wide range of people.
“We’ve experienced major earthquakes, forest fires, floods, recessions and other disasters. We’ve gotten through all of them and came out stronger. Ride down and check us out,” the bar says on its website.