Victims killed in California veterans home standoff described as ‘brave women;’ gunman

The three women who dedicated their lives to treating military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress were described as “brave woman” after they were gunned down by an ex-patient of the treatment program they worked in.

Police said a gunman – later identified as Albert Wong, 36, of Sacramento – managed around 10:30 a.m. Friday to discreetly enter a going-away party for an employee of Pathway Home, a privately run treatment program housed at Veterans Home of California-Yountville.

Wong held the three women hostages and sparked a nearly eight-hour standoff with police.

At around 6 p.m., authorities discovered the bodies of the three women – identified as Christine Loeber, 48, executive director of the program; Jennifer Golick, 42, a clinical director; and Jennifer Gonzales, 29, a clinical psychologist.


@abc7newsbayarea
The gunman accused of killing 3 Yountville employees has been identified as 36-year-old Albert Wong, a former member of the Pathway Home Program: http://abc7ne.ws/2HmxMtB .

12:00 AM – Mar 10, 2018
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Authorities said Wong had also killed himself.

“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 statement said. “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.”

Golick’s father-in-law said she had recently ordered Wong removed from the program.

Golick called her husband, Mark, around 10:30 a.m. to say that she had been taken hostage by the former soldier, Bob Golick said.

Mark didn’t hear from her again, Golick said.

Veterans Home of California-Yountville is the largest veterans’ home in the nation, according to the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the three women killed.

President Trump tweeted his condolences Saturday to the three women killed.

@CHP_GoldenGate
CHP – Golden Gate Division Assistant Chief Chris Childs delivered the following statement to members of the media tonight in regards to the hostage situation at Yountville Veterans Home of California:..https://www.facebook.com/CHPGoldenGate/videos/1788620764495569/ …

12:48 AM – Mar 10, 2018
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“We are deeply saddened by the tragic situation in Yountville and mourn the loss of three incredible women who cared for our Veterans,” Trump wrote.

Authorities said Wong was a former participant in the Pathway Home program, but investigators had yet to determine a motive for the killings.

“It’s far too early to say if they were chosen at random,” California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris Childs said of the slain hostages, during a news conference Friday evening.

Dr. David J. Shulkin

@SecShulkin
We are deeply saddened and affected by the tragic outcome of the hostage situation at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville and extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones involved. We ask for patience as we continue to monitor emerging details.

10:00 PM – Mar 9, 2018
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Wong had been an Army infantryman who served a year in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He held a number of service awards, including one for expert marksmanship with a rifle.

News of Friday’s tragedy drew reactions of sadness and shock.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
We are deeply saddened by the tragic situation in Yountville and mourn the loss of three incredible women who cared for our Veterans.

7:38 AM – Mar 10, 2018
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“We are deeply saddened and affected by the tragic outcome of the hostage situation at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville and extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones involved,” wrote David Shulkin, U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs, in a Twitter message. “We ask for patience as we continue to monitor emerging details.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown also offered condolences.

“(T)he horrible violence at the Yountville Veterans Home … tragically took the lives of three people dedicated to serving our veterans. Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones and the entire community of Yountville,” Brown wrote.

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Gov. Brown Press Office

@GovPressOffice
.@JerryBrownGov Issues Statement on Yountville Veterans Home Shooting: http://bit.ly/YountvilleStatement …

10:18 PM – Mar 9, 2018
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A Napa County sheriff’s deputy responded to an emergency call around 10 a.m. and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. Shortly after, the women were taken hostage.

“We believe and credit him with saving the lives of others in the area by eliminating the ability for the suspect to go out and find further victims,” Childs said. The officer was not injured.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Larry Kamer said his wife, Devereaux Smith, a fundraiser for Pathway Home, told him by phone that the gunman had slipped quietly into the building before taking some people hostage, while letting others leave.

Authorities were unable to make contact with the gunman and hostages throughout the day, and after nearly eight hours, law enforcement entered a room where they believed the hostages were being held. There they found three women and the suspected gunman — all dead, Childs said….

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2018-03-10T15:32:12+00:00March 10th, 2018|