On Friday morning, an armed man entered a home for veterans. The suspect took three people hostage, leading to a daylong standoff between him and local law enforcement officers. At one point, the man exchanged fire with a sheriff’s deputy. Police breached the room the suspect was in at approximately 6:00pm local time and made a gruesome discovery.
The incident occurred at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville. A man reportedly entered the facility with a rifle and was said to have fired multiple shots near the dining hall.
He took three women hostage, employees of The Pathway Home that provides counseling services to veterans with PTSD, and kept them in a room at the facility.
According to California Highway Patrol assistant chief Chris Childs, as reported by Business Insider, police breached the room at approximately 6:00pm local time. They discovered that all three hostages, along with the gunman, were dead.
It is believed that the man killed the women and then turned the gun on himself.
“This is a tragic piece of news,” said Childs, “one that we were really hoping we wouldn’t have to come before the public to give.”
The man entered the facility at approximately 10:30am on Friday.
According to Larry Kamer, the husband of one of the employees, the shooter came into the facility during a going-away party for some of the employees. He took some people hostage and allowed others to leave.
“There was a going-away party for a couple of the staff who were leaving today,” said Kramer. “Today was their last day. They were having cake and toasting and, apparently, he just walked in with this rifle.”
It is believed that the shooter, who name has not been released, was a veteran and had previously been receiving treatment through The Pathway Home program. He was said to be in his 30s and, two weeks ago, had been discharged from the program after he broke certain rules.
The Veterans Home of California-Yountville is the largest such facility in the US, providing housing to approximately 1,000 residents.
The Pathway Home program treats veterans from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from PTSD, providing them with assistance while they work to reintegrate into civilian life.