Gunman kills three, wounds six at California bikers’ bar

By Lavanya Sushil Ahire

(Reuters) -A gunman killed three people and wounded six others at a famed bikers’ bar in Southern California before he was shot dead by police late on Wednesday, authorities said.

The shooting occurred at Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon, at a little after 7 p.m. local time as dozens of patrons were at the 140-year-old establishment beloved by motorcycle riders and enthusiasts.

“It’s an absolute tragic event,” Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock told a news conference late on Wednesday night.

“This I know is probably weighing very heavy on the entire Trabuco Canyon community. Cook’s Corner is a staple in South Orange County,” he said of the bar about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Los Angeles.

Deputies raced to the scene after receiving emergency calls that shots were being fired at the bar. They confronted a male gunman, who was killed during an officer-involved shooting, Hallock said.

Three other people were pronounced dead at the scene. Paramedics took six others to the hospital, five of whom suffered gunshot wounds, Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said.

Two of the six were in critical condition and the others were in stable condition, he said.

The suspect may be a retired law enforcement officer, Hallock said, adding that investigators are looking into whether a domestic dispute led to the shooting. He said investigators wold interview at least 40 witnesses.

Hallock did not identify the shooter or the victims.

The office of California Governor Gavin Newsom said it was monitoring the shooting. President Joe Biden had been briefed on the situation, according to the White House.

(Reporting by Lavanya Ahire in Bengaluru and Neil Fullick; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Michael Perry, Bernadette Baum and Andrew Heavens)