YOUNTVILLE, CA (RNN) – A gunman and three hostages are dead after a standoff at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville.
Authorities have identified the victims as 42-year-old Jennifer Golick, 48-year-old Christine Loeber and 29-year-old Jennifer Gonzalez, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities have identified the gunman as Albert Wong, a 36-year-old former soldier and patient of the victims.
The victims worked for the nonprofit group The Pathway Home, which serves veterans with PTSD and head injuries who are working to transition back into society.
Police and hostage negotiators had surrounded the building for several hours Friday before entering in the early evening and finding the bodies.
Department of Defense officials said Wong was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army and was in the infantry for three years of active service, including one year in Afghanistan, according to the AP.
Golick and Gonzalez were counselors for The Pathway Home program. Loeber was the program director.
Jennifer Golick's father-in-law, Bob Golick, told the AP that Golick had recently kicked Wong out of the program.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has released a statement on the killings, saying he and his wife Anne are "deeply saddened by the horrible violence" at the home:
The situation leading to the killings began Friday around 10:20 a.m. PT (1:20 p.m. ET), when police received reports that a man dressed in black, wearing body armor and armed with an automatic weapon entered the grounds of the facility, according to the Napa Valley Register.
Larry Kamer told the AP a gunman quietly came into a going-away party and staff meeting at the home and let some people leave while keeping others hostage. Kamer's wife, Devereaux Smith, was one of the people not allowed to leave.
She was able to speak with her husband by phone, saying she was in the home's dining hall, according to the AP.
CNN reported that Kamer said Smith and some other employees managed to escape, though Kamer didn't specify how.
During the situation, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson said the gunman held three people hostage. Investigators knew the identity of the gunman early on, but did not release his name until his next of kin was notified after his death. Authorities have not yet named a possible motive for the killings.
Employees and residents sheltered in place during the hostage situation. The lockdown was in a section of the property that houses The Pathway Home treatment programs, according to KGO.
Chris Childs with California Highway Patrol had identified the gunman's three hostages as Pathway Home employees earlier in the day, according to the AP.
Hostage negotiators from at least three different agencies, including the FBI, were on site to make contact with the gunman on his cell phone, Childs said.
CHP responded with aerial resources and sending a SWAT team to assist the Napa County Sheriff's Office on scene. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office also dispatched a SWAT team.
There is an active shooter and hostage situation at the Veterans Home in Yountville. CHP is working with Napa County Sheriff’s Office to establish a perimeter and clear buildings.— CHP Golden Gate (@CHP_GoldenGate) March 9, 2018
ATF agents responded to the scene but the Napa City Police took the lead in the situation, which involved shots exchanged between authorities and the gunman.
“There was an exchange of gunfire,” Roberts said. “There were many bullets fired.”
People on a nearby golf course were evacuated when the shooting began.
The Veterans Home posted on their Facebook page that emergency response protocols were activated and they were working with law enforcement.
The Veterans Home of California opened in 1884 and is the largest veterans home in the country.
Yountville sits about 56 miles north of San Francisco and is in the North Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay area.
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