Three hostages and a gunman are dead at the Veterans Home of California – Yountville, the culmination of a day-long ordeal in California’s Napa Valley. During a going-away party for two of the facility’s workers, a 36-year old veteran is said to have entered, armed with a rifle. The alleged killer is believed to have been discharged from a treatment program that “helps veterans cope with the effects of their deployment” just two weeks ago.
Local media outlets reported that the gunman was a veteran and a former member of The Pathway Home program, which says on its website that it helps veterans “cope with the effects of their deployment.”
The suspect was believed to be 36 years old and was discharged from the treatment program two weeks ago, according to The Napa Valley Register. The gunman was asked to leave the program after he broke certain rules, NBC Bay Area reported.
The facility is the largest veterans’ home in the US, housing roughly 1,000 elderly or disabled veterans and their spouses, according to its website. The program treats Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and helps them reintegrate back to civilian life, according to KRON-4 News and The Washington Post.
The Pathway Home is on the Veterans Home’s property.
The Pathway Home, a privately run program on the grounds of the veterans home, treats veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The three hostages were Pathway House employees, California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris Childs said. The gunman, who had a rifle, was confined to one room and authorities were trying to reach him on his cellphone and facility landlines as hostage negotiators stood by, he said.
Police evacuated the property and closed off nearby roads. An armored police vehicle, ambulances and several firetrucks were at the facility, which houses about 1,000 residents.
The male gunman held three women hostage in a room as he exchanged fire with a sheriff’s deputy. Hostage negotiators were unable to contact him throughout the afternoon.
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— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) March 9, 2018
The Veterans Home has a long, rich history of service to veterans.
According to the California Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Home of California in Yountville dates back to 1884 and is considered the largest veterans home in the U.S. with more than 1000 veterans from all wars dating back to World War II.
Officers were able to enter the room about 6:00 P.M. and found the hostages and gunman dead. His name and any possible motive have not been released.
The CHP is deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred at the Yountville Veterans Home of California today. We are committed to conducting a complete and thorough investigation into this tragedy so we may provide answers to the victims' families.
— CHP Headquarters (@CHP_HQ) March 10, 2018