Prayer vigil honors victims of Trabuco Canyon mass shooting

Saturday, August 26, 2023
Prayer vigil honors victims of Trabuco Canyon shooting
As the Trabuco Canyon community continues to deal with a deadly mass shooting, a prayer vigil was held to help families cope with the tragedy.

TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. (KABC) -- As the Trabuco Canyon community continues to deal with a devastating mass shooting that claimed the lives of three people and wounded several others, a prayer vigil was held to help families cope with the tragedy.

The prayer gathering was held Friday evening at Saddleback Church's Main Worship Center in Lake Forest. The event was open to the public and was also streamed on the church's YouTube channel.

Emotions ran high during the service as the community is still shaken by the deadly violence at a place loved for decades.

"Cook's has been a part of my life since I was 5 years old," an emotional Tara Donahue said outside the church. "It's been my whole life for the last couple years- it means a lot to the community."

The names of the three people who were killed were released Friday.

Tonya Clark, 49, of Scottsdale, Ariz., Glen Sprowl Jr., 53, of Stanton, and John Leehey, 67, of Irvine were all pronounced deceased at the scene of the shooting at Cook's Corner bar.

READ ALSO | Here's how the mass shooting at Cook's Corner unfolded and how quickly deputies responded

Three people were killed and six wounded Wednesday in a mass shooting at a Trabuco Canyon bar that ended with the gunman being killed by Orange County sheriff's deputies.

"You can always ask yourself why? Why was it John? He's probably the most courteous, friendly guy you'll ever meet," said James O'Malley, a friend of Leehey who was at the vigil.

O'Malley was with his friend sitting outside the bar Wednesday when they heard gunfire. He said a barrage of gunfire came toward them. He realized his friend had been shot.

"I thought he tripped and then my mind said, 'No, that wasn't a trip.' There's blood and there was no movement," O'Malley said.

On Wednesday, a gunman opened fire inside Cook's Corner, a popular bar and grill in Trabuco Canyon that was known as a hangout for bikers but also as a family-friendly, beloved institution in the local community.

Investigators say the shooter -- 59-year-old former police sergeant John Snowling, who is now deceased -- traveled from Ohio amid an ongoing dispute over divorcing his wife.

Sheriff Don Barnes said that, based on witness statements, the suspect walked into the bar with two firearms and went directly to his estranged wife. He drew his weapon and fired on the woman, Barnes said. He then turned and fired on the person who was sharing the meal with his wife, authorities said.

Snowling worked at Southern California's Ventura Police Department from 1986 until his retirement in 2014, according to Ventura police.

ABC News contributed to this report.