Young Gilbert siblings lose father in mass shooting at California bar

GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A family member of Glen Sprowl Jr. describes him as a tough on the outside and soft on the inside kind of guy. “I would say Glen was like a goofy guy. He always tried to make everybody laugh. He was very generous. If I ever needed anything, or if my family needed anything, he was definitely the first one to help out,” said Rochelle Chini.

Chini has known Sprowl for more than a decade. Her sister is the mother of Sprowl’s two youngest children. Their ages are 7 and 10. They live in Gilbert with their mother, but Chini said Sprowl would always visit and planned to one day move to Arizona. Sprowl also has a 20-year-old son who lives in California. Chini said he was a present father. “My nephew even said he was the funniest dad ever,” said Chini.

Last week, they lost their dad after he was shot and killed at a California biker bar called Cook’s Corner. Chini said she has other friends who got to the popular, family-friendly bar. When Chini heard about the shooting, she hoped her friends and Sprowl weren’t there. Unfortunately, he was one of three people killed. “I don’t even know if I could put it into words. I just felt a little numb to begin with. I just felt my emotions couldn’t grasp what was happening,” said Chini.

Chini explained her sister told her children about their father’s death the day after the shooting. “They handled it like any kid would handle it, knowing that they’re not going to see their dad again. And it was hard. And I think they’re still children, so it’s an up-and-down thing for them right now,” said Chini. “For me, I just feel really bad for the kids. I mean, I just can’t even imagine how they’re feeling, not having the chance to talk to their dad again.”

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said a man approached the shooter when he was grabbing more guns from his truck. Chini said witnesses have reached out to her family that it was Sprowl who tried to stop the shooter. “There was no doubt about it in my mind, that if he didn’t see it coming, then he was for sure the person that went after the guy,” she said. “I can tell my niece and nephew that your dad was a hero, but nothing makes it OK.”

A GoFundMe is collecting donations to help Sprowl’s two youngest kids. If you would like to donate, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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