News ID: 211431
Published: 0303 GMT March 10, 2018

Official: Gunman, three hostages dead after shootout at California veterans home

Official: Gunman, three hostages dead after shootout at California veterans home

A tense standoff between the police and a gunman who had stormed into a California veterans home and taken three clinicians hostage came to a grim end Friday night when officers entered the room the gunman was in to find him and the hostages dead.

The man had shown up at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville in Napa County — the largest veterans home in the United States — in the morning with a rifle and exchanged gunfire with a sheriff’s deputy before crashing a farewell party for employees and taking a number of hostages,

The confrontation stretched throughout the day and into the evening; officials said that some hostages had been released early on, but three remained trapped in a room with the gunman. Teams of federal, state and local law enforcement officials and hostage negotiators from three agencies had been unable to make contact with the gunman or the hostages throughout the day, officials said.

But about 6 p.m. local time, officers entered the room and discovered the bodies of the four people, including the suspect, officials said at a briefing Friday night. They said that no one else was injured in the attack.

The three victims, all women, were connected to the Pathway Home, a nonprofit on site that works to reintegrate recent veterans back into civilian life, including those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. It was not immediately clear when the hostages had been killed.

A statement from the nonprofit identified the victims Friday night as the center’s executive director Christine Loeber, therapist Jen Golick and Jennifer Gonzales, a psychologist with the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

The incident unfolded around 10:20 a.m., when the gunman showed up and exchanged fire with a sheriff’s deputy who had been called to the scene, officials said.

At some point, the gunman appeared at the goodbye party for one of the employees of the Pathway Home, according to Larry Kamer, a former member of the nonprofit’s board of directors.

The standoff had lasted about eight hours, paralyzing the complex and nearby areas. Law enforcement officers from state and federal agencies had swarmed around the building as worried family members waited outside. Those inside were told to shelter in place.

The Napa County Sheriff’s Office identified the gunman as Albert Wong, 36, of Sacramento. Childs from highway patrol said the suspect’s car, a rental, had been found outside the veterans home with a cellphone inside of it.

The scene brought fear and terror to the small town of about 3,000 in the heart of California’s wine country as armored vehicles descended on an area perhaps most famous for the upscale restaurant the French Laundry. The winery Domaine Chandon is less than a half mile away from the veterans home.

And it was another trauma for an area still recovering from a series of devastating wildfires in October. The veterans home had been evacuated during the fires.


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