(NSFW) Retired CA Cop Shoots Wife and Bystanders Before Losing Gunfight

This agency-provided compilation of security, body-worn and dash cam footage depicts the actions of recent active shooter John Snowling and the subsequent shootout with Orange County Law Enforcement. While the casualties are occluded in this video, the nature of the crime and violence necessitate the viewer's discretion.


After a recording of initial dispatch call to the responding officers, we begin at 01:29, with CCTV footage of Snowling. Bystanders begin to flee at 01:39, as Snowling begins shooting. Snowling, a retired police officer, starts with his wife (she recently filed for divorce), who he shoots in the face before firing randomly at other attendees. Seen here with two pistols, Snowling returns to his vehicle to get a third handgun and a shotgun, where he is engaged by Orange Co. Deputies.


01:57 marks the beginning of bodycam footage. He makes contact with a bystander who immediately gives a description and location of Snowling. The deputy exits his vehicle at 02:15, and is fired upon at 02:29. Snowling and the deputies exchange fire, and at 02:44, the deputy retrieves his AR-15 from the trunk of his vehicle, to better address the distance between Snowling and himself. As he posts up with the rifle, the other deputies seem to have difficulty communicating Snowling's location at 03:18. Although details are important in these situations, it can become hard to convey them when adrenaline begins to flow. However, the deputy ascertains the location and begins to fire with his rifle at 03:23. Another rifle-armed deputy joins him and they exchange several rounds with Snowling.


At 03:52, the deputy reloads, announcing that he is doing so. Although this isn't an absolute show-stopper, it's generally suggested that the shooter say "check" or some other variation rather than completely give away that they are reloading. He also fails to completely seat the magazine, having to retrieve it at 04:00. Again, adrenaline is a hell of a thing. Confusion seems to reign among the responding deputies as to which vehicle Snowling is near. Snowling re-engages at 04:27, at which point the deputies return fire. The two deputies to the camera's right fail to grab any cover whatsoever as they fire. Credit where due, the officer with the handgun at least crouches a little, whereas the rifleman clearly spends a lot of time on the range.


At 06:17, the deputy with the camera notes that Snowling has dropped his shotgun. He immediately moves to press Snowling, ordering him to show his hands, while another deputy readies his shotgun. The camera deputy then returns to his previous location at the rear right of the cruiser. Off camera, Snowling has regained the weapon, prompting deputies to fire. At 07:34, the deputies light up Snowling and his location behind a tree as the suspect refuses to drop the weapon. By this time the other rifleman has gained a textbook firing position at the "A Pillar" of the cruiser, but other officers line up in the same range-stance he had.


At 09:35, it is announced that another team is working its way toward Snowling, to avoid friendly fire. Astoundingly, at 10:17, two female officers begin to question who's on less-lethal, which is... an interesting topic of concern at this stage. The camera deputy identifies that Snowling is now in a prone position. Although the team at the cruiser he is using for cover elects to stay back, the team at the other cruiser (including the "less lethal" duo) opts to go in, further illustrating the confusion at play here. The camera officer follows them, falling in to their left at 10:59. At this time, the other team is also coming down on the suspect. Initially, the other deputies mistake a victim for the suspect, before the camera officer corrects them.


A slideshow follows, depicting a cruiser damaged by Snowling's rounds, as well as the tree he'd been using for cover, now riddled with bullets. At 12:09, the incident is shown in condensed format from the perspective of a cruiser dash cam. This angle gives us a clear view of Snowling as he moves between the cars to the tree for cover.


Snowling was declared dead on-scene. His actions killed three others and wounded six more. No responding deputies were killed.

About the Author

Author's Photo

Cole Simms

Cole Simms is an Air Guardsman, NASA enthusiast, police officer, and security contractor with particular experience in austere environments. Outside of work, he volunteers as a Stop The Bleed instructor for area schools. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and blends his knowledge and experience to write analysis for Funker530.


Need a tried-and-tested fixed blade that's trusted by police, military and protective service users all over the world? Cole recommends Ironside Edge Works for your tactical or EDC blade needs.

Published 4 months ago

This agency-provided compilation of security, body-worn and dash cam footage depicts the actions of recent active shooter John Snowling and the subsequent shootout with Orange County Law Enforcement. While the casualties are occluded in this video, the nature of the crime and violence necessitate the viewer's discretion.


After a recording of initial dispatch call to the responding officers, we begin at 01:29, with CCTV footage of Snowling. Bystanders begin to flee at 01:39, as Snowling begins shooting. Snowling, a retired police officer, starts with his wife (she recently filed for divorce), who he shoots in the face before firing randomly at other attendees. Seen here with two pistols, Snowling returns to his vehicle to get a third handgun and a shotgun, where he is engaged by Orange Co. Deputies.


01:57 marks the beginning of bodycam footage. He makes contact with a bystander who immediately gives a description and location of Snowling. The deputy exits his vehicle at 02:15, and is fired upon at 02:29. Snowling and the deputies exchange fire, and at 02:44, the deputy retrieves his AR-15 from the trunk of his vehicle, to better address the distance between Snowling and himself. As he posts up with the rifle, the other deputies seem to have difficulty communicating Snowling's location at 03:18. Although details are important in these situations, it can become hard to convey them when adrenaline begins to flow. However, the deputy ascertains the location and begins to fire with his rifle at 03:23. Another rifle-armed deputy joins him and they exchange several rounds with Snowling.


At 03:52, the deputy reloads, announcing that he is doing so. Although this isn't an absolute show-stopper, it's generally suggested that the shooter say "check" or some other variation rather than completely give away that they are reloading. He also fails to completely seat the magazine, having to retrieve it at 04:00. Again, adrenaline is a hell of a thing. Confusion seems to reign among the responding deputies as to which vehicle Snowling is near. Snowling re-engages at 04:27, at which point the deputies return fire. The two deputies to the camera's right fail to grab any cover whatsoever as they fire. Credit where due, the officer with the handgun at least crouches a little, whereas the rifleman clearly spends a lot of time on the range.


At 06:17, the deputy with the camera notes that Snowling has dropped his shotgun. He immediately moves to press Snowling, ordering him to show his hands, while another deputy readies his shotgun. The camera deputy then returns to his previous location at the rear right of the cruiser. Off camera, Snowling has regained the weapon, prompting deputies to fire. At 07:34, the deputies light up Snowling and his location behind a tree as the suspect refuses to drop the weapon. By this time the other rifleman has gained a textbook firing position at the "A Pillar" of the cruiser, but other officers line up in the same range-stance he had.


At 09:35, it is announced that another team is working its way toward Snowling, to avoid friendly fire. Astoundingly, at 10:17, two female officers begin to question who's on less-lethal, which is... an interesting topic of concern at this stage. The camera deputy identifies that Snowling is now in a prone position. Although the team at the cruiser he is using for cover elects to stay back, the team at the other cruiser (including the "less lethal" duo) opts to go in, further illustrating the confusion at play here. The camera officer follows them, falling in to their left at 10:59. At this time, the other team is also coming down on the suspect. Initially, the other deputies mistake a victim for the suspect, before the camera officer corrects them.


A slideshow follows, depicting a cruiser damaged by Snowling's rounds, as well as the tree he'd been using for cover, now riddled with bullets. At 12:09, the incident is shown in condensed format from the perspective of a cruiser dash cam. This angle gives us a clear view of Snowling as he moves between the cars to the tree for cover.


Snowling was declared dead on-scene. His actions killed three others and wounded six more. No responding deputies were killed.

About the Author

Author's Photo

Cole Simms

Cole Simms is an Air Guardsman, NASA enthusiast, police officer, and security contractor with particular experience in austere environments. Outside of work, he volunteers as a Stop The Bleed instructor for area schools. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and blends his knowledge and experience to write analysis for Funker530.


Need a tried-and-tested fixed blade that's trusted by police, military and protective service users all over the world? Cole recommends Ironside Edge Works for your tactical or EDC blade needs.

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