Four people were confirmed dead after a gunman, believed to be a former cop, went on a rampage at a biker bar in Southern California, the Orange County Sheriff confirmed early Wednesday morning.
Authorities confirmed four people had died at the scene, including the unidentified shooter—and described the incident at Cook’s Corner bar in Trabuco Canyon as having turned “static.”
Six others were transported to hospitals, five of those with reported gunshot wounds. More details on their injuries, along with their identities, remained unclear. Two of the six people are in critical condition, Chief Brian Fennessy of the Orange County Fire Authority confirmed. The other four are stable.
Sources told the Los Angeles Daily News that the suspected shooter was “a former law enforcement officer from outside of the area.” The Los Angeles Times reported the same, saying the shooter was “a retired law enforcement officer who might have been targeting someone he knew.”
In a press conference, Undersheriff Jeff Hallock from the Orange County Sheriff’s department confirmed authorities were aware of the reports circulating of the gunman’s identity and “are working to confirm that information as we speak.”
Whether the incident was related to reports of domestic violence, Hallock said, was “too early” to confirm.
Hallock described how the incident initially unfolded, revealing how police responded at 7:04 p.m. to multiple 911 calls of shots being fired at Cook’s Corner.
“It is our understanding that dispatch could hear gunshots going off in the background,” Hallock said.
He said callers indicated the gunman had fired between 4-6 shots before deputies arrived on scene two minutes later, at 7:06 p.m.
Two minutes later, authorities confronted the gunman, and a “deputy involved shooting occurred, involving multiple deputies,” Hallock added, confirming the shooter died at the scene. At least one weapon has been recovered. Hallock said it was “safe to assume” deputies engaged the shooter but that he didn’t have “specific details.”
A local CBS reporter that was over the scene in a helicopter said it appeared there were at least three sheets covering bodies—one in a parking lot, one on the street, and one at the rear of the property.
Hallock said authorities were processing the scene overnight and that there were a number of witnesses–upwards of between 30 or 40–still be to be interviewed. “It’s a very complex and detailed scene,” he said, adding it was a “really tragic incident.”
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