Three female hostages and a gunman were found dead after an hours-long standoff at the nation’s largest veterans home in Napa Valley, California.
The standoff began Friday morning local time at the state-run veterans home in Yountville, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Napa County Sheriff’s Office said earlier it had identified the gunman, but did not release his name publicly. Hostage negotiators on site were never able to make contact with the suspect, later identified as Albert Wong, 36, from Sacramento.
The California Highway Patrol identified the three victims as employees of a nonprofit organization that works with veterans. They were later identified as Christine Loeber, 48; Jennifer Golick, 42; and Jennifer Gonzales, 29.
Here’s what we know — and don’t know — about this nearly day-long standoff that left four dead, including the suspect:
What we know:
- Four people are dead, including the suspected gunman, after standoff at the state-run Veterans Home of California in Yountville, Napa Valley, according to the California Highway Patrol. Authorities believe the hostage-taker was armed with a rifle.
- The standoff began around 10:30 am local time, after authorities responded to reports of “shots fired,” reports CBS News. The campus was immediately put on lockdown. Local, state, and federal law enforcement swarmed the facility, along with SWAT teams and hostage negotiators, reports the local ABC affiliate.
- A sheriff’s deputy exchanged gunfire with the suspect when responding to the emergency call. “There were many bullets fired,” Napa County Sheriff John Robertson said at press conference.
- The shooter was later identified as Albert Wong, 36, a former Army rifleman who served for a year in Afghanistan in 2011-2012. He was a former client of the Pathway Home.
- Hostage negotiators had tried calling the suspect’s cellphone, but were never able to make contact, reports the Washington Post.
- Chris Childs with California Highway Patrol said the hostages were all employees of Pathway Home, a nonprofit group that serves veterans and operates on the Yountville facility’s campus. According to the local NBC affiliate, the program provides treatment for Iraq and Afghanistan vets who suffer from PTSD.
- A statement from the Pathway Home later identified the women 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. “These brave women were accomplished professionals who dedicated their careers to serving our nation’s veterans, working closely with those in the greatest need of attention after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the Pathway Home said in a statement.
- The Veterans Home of California in Yountville is the largest such facility in the country. It houses about 1,000 aged or disabled veterans.
What we don’t know:
- The suspect’s motive