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911 calls detail chaos, fear and life-saving efforts in Cook's Corner shooting

Newly released 911 calls detail the terrifying moments in which a gunman opened fire at an Orange County biker bar – and people’s desperate attempts to get help and save their loved ones.

The Orange County Fire Authority on Tuesday released the calls from last week’s shooting at Cook’s Corner bar and restaurant. The calls not only captured people talking to dispatchers but also caught some of the shots in the background.

The first calls came in just after 7 p.m. Aug. 23.

“Yeah, my buddy just got shot. We’re at Cook’s Corner,” a man tells a dispatcher in one of the calls. Gunshots can then be heard in the background.

The dispatcher asks where the man’s friend was shot. The man in turn asks him. “The left side,” his friend replies.

During the chaos, 911 operators quickly started giving life-saving instructions to those who were desperately trying to do whatever they could to help the wounded.

In the aforementioned call, the dispatcher instructed the man on the line to get a clean towel or cloth and apply direct pressure to his friend’s wound.

The friend groaned in the background.

“It must be filling up his lungs,” the caller says. “He can’t breathe.”

As the dispatcher reiterates the need for a cloth, the gunfire continues. “Hold on, the guy’s still shooting,” the caller tells the dispatcher.

Other calls reveal the information that witnesses and victims were providing about the shooter. In one call, a man tells an operator that the gunman ran out the front door and went around the corner of the building.

One call captured unintelligible screaming.

The shooting ended with three victims killed and six wounded, including the gunman’s estranged wife, whom authorities say the shooter targeted.

The shooter was identified as a 59-year-old former member of the Ventura Police Department. Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said he was upset about his impending divorce.

Barnes said the man, armed with two handguns, entered the bar, went directly to his wife and opened fire, striking her once and also shooting a woman who was sharing a meal with his “soon-to-be ex-wife.”

The gunman proceeded to begin “randomly” shooting at patrons, the sheriff said. He went outside and continued firing at people, Barnes added.

Sheriff’s deputies later confronted and killed the man after he opened fire on them, authorities said. Seven deputies shot him, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer noted.

Some of the victims of the shooting remain hospitalized.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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