Home Christian News Gunman Kills 3 at California Biker Bar Near Saddleback Church; ‘PLEASE PRAY,’...

Gunman Kills 3 at California Biker Bar Near Saddleback Church; ‘PLEASE PRAY,’ Says Rick Warren

Saddleback Church
The Orange County sheriff's mobile command post uses the parking lot at Saddleback Church as as staging area in Lake Forest, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, after a fatal shooting at Cook's Corner in Trabuco Canyon. (Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP)

Four people are dead, including a gunman, and six others wounded in a mass shooting incident that took place Wednesday, Aug. 23, at Cook’s Corner Bar in Trabuco Canyon, California, near Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. Saddleback’s parking lot served as a staging area for the ​​Orange County sheriff’s mobile command post, and the church is holding a prayer service for the community tomorrow evening.

“We’ve had a mass shooting on the street of Saddleback Church,” founding pastor Rick Warren posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “PLEASE PRAY as our members minister to victims.”

“Our hearts just go out to the families and the people that have been impacted, and we’re praying as a church,” Warren’s successor at Saddleback, Andy Wood, told CBS News. “In fact, we’re going to have a prayer time together for the community this Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.” 

Saddleback Church Ministers to Survivors

The shooting took place Wednesday evening as Cook’s Corner Bar was holding its weekly spaghetti night. The bar is a local hangout frequented by motorcyclists, and a live band was scheduled to play that night. 

After officers received the first 911 call at 7:00 p.m., deputies responded within minutes. They fatally shot the gunman, who is believed to be a retired law enforcement officer and is said to have been targeting his estranged wife. One official estimated that as many as 40 people were present at the bar.

The gunman’s wife is reportedly in stable condition in the hospital. Two of the survivors are said to be in critical condition. 

At 10 p.m. Wednesday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced that the situation was contained, with four confirmed dead, including the gunman. Six people had been transported to hospitals with injuries, with five of them suffering gunshot wounds.

The sheriff’s department will hold a media briefing Thursday afternoon.

“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to be able to serve as the command center for local law enforcement as they’re on the front lines over at Cook’s Corner, and we’ve got some members from our church that are at the hospital now working to minister with families,” Wood told CBS. “We do believe prayer in these moments is one of the most important things that we can do.”