Deceased Orange County Mass Shooting Suspect Identified as Retired Police Sergeant
Originally published 8-24-23
by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department:
“TRABUCO CANYON Ca, (August 24, 2023): OC Sheriff investigators today released additional details about the suspect involved in the shooting that occurred in Trabuco Canyon.
On Wednesday, August 23, deputies responded to reports of a shooting at 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 deceased at the scene.
Deputies began providing lifesaving measures to multiple victims at the scene. Three victims were pronounced deceased, including John Leehey, 67, of Irvine. The identification of the other two deceased, an adult male and 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.
OC 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 and additional information will be provided, when available.
More than 200 personnel responded to the scene including 71 patrol vehicles, 100 deputies and 40 investigators.
Patrons who were at Cook’s Corner during the incident will be contacted directly by an investigator to retrieve their personal property.
Per protocol, the investigation of the deputy-involved shooting will be handled by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Deputies are equipped with body-worn cameras. Footage from the incident will be released in accordance with the law and in consultation with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.”