Biker Bar Shooter That Left 4 Dead Was Retired Law Enforcement

( – A shooting that left 4 dead and half a dozen injured at a historic biker bar in southern California was perpetrated by a former police officer, according to authorities.

The gunman was identified as John Snowling, a 59-year-old retired Sergeant from the Ventura Police Department. Snowling was taken down by “multiple” officers who arrived on the scene minutes after the first 911 call.

Authorities believe Snowling traveled from Ohio to California to seek out his estranged wife, with whom he had an ongoing dispute during divorce proceedings. The gunman’s wife of 32 years, Marie Snowling, filed for divorce in December 2022, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The couple had been separated since 2020. 

Snowling immediately sought out his estranged wife at the bar, shooting her in the face before opening fire on random patrons at the bar. Authorities say there were no words exchanged between Snowling and his wife before he began shooting.

After shooting several people with the two firearms he initially brought into the bar, the gunman left the bar and went back to his car to retrieve two more guns—a handgun and a shotgun. A bar patron tried to confront Snowling at that point, but the gunman shot and killed him.

According to someone who was on the scene at the shooting, a woman who worked at the bar begged for her life, telling the gunman she was 5 months pregnant. Snowling allegedly said, “Get out of here” to her before allowing her to flee.

The gunman’s wife survived and was described as “conscious and speaking” the following day. Her attorney said the family was “in shock” and asked for privacy while she recovers.

The deceased victims’ identities were released by authorities in the days following the shooting. The victims were John Leahy, 67, of Irvine, CA; Glen Sprowl Jr., 53, of Stanton, California; and Tonya Clark, 49, of Scottsdale, Arizona. Of the six injured, two were listed as “critical but stable” condition and four were considered in stable condition. 

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