Gunman, 3 hostages dead in Napa County veterans home

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Saturday, March 10, 2018
Gunman, 3 hostages dead in Napa County veterans home
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Officials have confirmed that a gunman and three people taken hostage in a Napa County veterans home on Friday have died.

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. -- Four people are dead after a man wearing body armor and armed with a rifle stormed into a Napa County veterans home Friday morning, sources confirm.

The day-long hostage situation, which started around 10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville ended Friday evening with the gunman killing three female hostages. The suspect is also dead.

Chief Chris Childs said officers entered the room where the hostages were being held around 6 p.m. He said they were all found dead inside a room in the veterans home.

Childs added that a bomb-sniffing dog had alerted on the suspect's car but no bombs were found in the vehicle. He said there is "no threat to public safety."

Yountville officials confirm that the three female hostages were employees of the nonprofit organization Pathway Home treatment program, which is housed on the campus of the Veterans Home of California-Yountville.

They were identified as 42-years-old Jennifer Golick, 48-years-old Christine Loeber and 29-years-old Jennifer Gonzalez. Golick and Gonzalez were counselors and Loeber was the director of the program.

Napa County Sheriff-Coroner's officials identified the gunman as Albert Wong, a 36-year-old Sacramento resident. Department of Defense officials said Wong was a decorated U.S. soldier who served on active duty from May 2010 to August 2013. He spent a year in Afghanistan.

The Pathway Home released a statement saying: "These brave women were accomplished professionals who dedicated their careers to serving our nation's veterans and working closely with those in the greatest need of attention after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of us at The Pathway Home are devastated by today's events. We stand with the families, friends, and colleagues who share in this terrible loss."

Law enforcement from the Napa County, the California Highway Patrol and FBI surrounded the facility, which is the largest veterans' residence community in the United States, for more than eight hours.

Authorities held their first formal press conference shortly after 2 p.m. and confirmed that a male suspect entered the building. Deputies and the suspect exchanged gun fire earlier in the day, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson said. Robertson confirmed that "many bullets" were fired from both sides.

The gunman, he said, was a veteran in the program and was being treated for PTSD. He had been asked to leave the program earlier this week, Dodd said, noting the facility has rules and regulations to stay in the program.

Larry Kamer told sister station ABC7 News that his wife and six other women were attending a going away party for a colleague when the suspect broke in with a rifle. The gunman, Kamer said, let four of the women go, including his wife.

PHOTOS: Active shooter, hostages taken at Yountville veterans home

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Police are on the scene of an active shooter, hostage situation at Veterans Home of California Yountville on Friday, March 9, 2018.

The state veterans affairs department said the home opened in 1984. It offers residential accommodations with recreational, social and therapeutic activities for independent living, according to the home's website.

The grounds also include a 1,200-seat theater, a 9-hole golf course, a baseball stadium, bowling lanes, a swimming pool and a military Base Exchange branch store.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.