Police: Retired officer couldn't 'deal with the divorce,' drove across country to attempt to murder his wife

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TRABUCO CANYON, CA - A retired police officer, identified as former Ventura Police Sergeant John Snowling, drove nearly across the country in an attempt to kill his wife, reports say.

Snowling, who was 59 years old, drove from his new home in Ohio to the town about 50 miles south of downtown Los Angeles to Cook’s Corner biker bar at around 7:00pm on Wednesday where his wife, Marie Snowling, was eating with a friend. 

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said that the former officer entered the bar with two handguns and first shot his wife, continuing his rampage on the woman sitting at the table with Marie before shooting several others in the bar. 

“Mr. Snowling, the suspect, then began randomly shooting at patrons within Cook's Corner,” Barnes said, before the former sergeant moved to an area outside the bar.  

When police arrived on scene, Snowling shot at them with a 12-gauge shotgun. Officers fired back, killing Snowling. He had walked in the bar with two handguns, then went back to his truck to retrieve a third handgun and the shotgun, investigators said.

Marie sustained injuries from the shooting, but she survived. The woman who had been sitting at the table with Marie later died. Two other men in the bar were shot and killed as well. Six other patrons were shot, with two being in critical condition.

Marie had reportedly filed for divorce and proceedings for that started this past December. They were still ongoing with the settlement hearing scheduled for November. Her father, William Mosby, said that Snowling was not able to "deal with the divorce," according to The Orange County Register.

Tristan teGroen, Snowling's divorce attorney, told Fox News that there was "no murmur of domestic violence or threats or anything like that from the other attorney."

Snowling started with the Ventura Police Department in July 1986 and stayed there until his retirement in February 2014.

Chief Barnes said that deputies were dispatched and encountered Snowling within two minutes.

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