At least three killed in Orange County biker bar shooting

Police Line / Police Tape" by Tony Webster is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

Mass shootings can happen anywhere. We’ve long known that they can, though some pretend that the issue is a lack of gun control laws and then turn a blind eye to anything that happens in a gun-controlled area.


Let’s take Orange County, California, for a moment. California has tons of gun laws on the books, but we saw two high-profile mass shootings in just two days there earlier this year. Those who think that was some kind of anomaly are going to be disappointed, though, by what just happened.

At least three people were killed and several others were wounded in a shooting at a popular biker bar in Southern California on Wednesday night. The alleged gunman is also dead, authorities said.

The incident was reported just after 7 p.m. PT at Cook’s Corner in the Trabuco Canyo area of Orange County, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies responded to the scene within minutes and confronted a male suspect armed with a gun. The suspect, who authorities say may have been a retired law enforcement officer, was shot and killed.

Four people, including the suspect, were pronounced dead at the scene. Six others, including five with gunshot wounds, were transported to a local trauma center for treatment. Two of them were in critical condition while the rest were stable, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.


Frankly, I’m not thrilled with lumping the dead suspect with those killed, but so long as everyone knows what the deal is, I’ll move on.

Currently, there’s no official word on the motive, though a couple of anonymous sources have spoken with the LA Times:

Authorities did not provide details about the identities of the shooting victims or the gunman.

Two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the gunman, retired from the Ventura Police Department, was targeting his estranged wife. It was unclear whether the shooter followed her to the bar before opening fire on the crowd, they said.

Who knows if that will hold up upon further investigation, but there’s no reason to believe it won’t.

But what we do know is that California has extensive gun control laws on the books. We also know that many gun control laws throughout the nation exempt law enforcement officers.

And yet, here we are, with a retired cop allegedly gunning down three people before dying himself in an act that can only be described as a mass shooting in gun-controlled California.

Of course, as we learn more about this shooting, we may well learn that the person they believe was the shooter wasn’t or that he was now a prohibited person, or who knows what all we might find out. The days immediately after something like this can be fluid.


There’s a reason some people have a 72-hour rule on mass shooting information.

While this one didn’t produce a massive body count, the truth is that Orange County isn’t where people think of when they think of such acts of violence.

Interestingly, the alleged gunman supposedly retired from Ventura, California. That’s in the same county as Thousand Oaks, where there was a mass shooting a few years back.

It may mean nothing, but it’s an interesting coincidence at a minimum.

In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye out for more information on this incident, but it seems pretty clear that gun control didn’t do anything to prevent it.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member