On Friday morning, an “active shooter situation” was declared at a home for veterans. The shooter, according to officials, has taken three hostages and reports suggested that shots had been fired near the dining hall at the facility. The gunman, identified as male, also exchanged fire with law enforcement officers.
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The hostages are employees of The Pathway Home, an organization that provides counseling services to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, California, according to a report by CNN.
The facility also houses residents, but no residents were taken hostage.
Negotiating teams are attempting to contact the gunman, who they believe is armed with a rifle.
“We’ve tried numerous times and been trying since 10:30 this morning to contact him by his own cell phone and also the phones in the dorm area,” said Napa County Sheriff John Robertson during a news conference.
FBI officials and members of the SWAT team were called to the scene, and a shelter-in-place order was issued early in the day.
The remainder of the facility was evacuated once reports of an armed man at the facility became known.
According to Robertson, the man and officers did exchange gunfire at one point.
He said, “There was an exchange of gunfire, fired by the suspect and our deputy.
Larry Kramer, whose wife, Pathway employee Devereaux Smith, reportedly came face-to-face with the gunman but managed to escape. According to Kramer, the gunman appeared to be calm.
“There was a going-away party for a couple of the staff who were leaving today,” said Kramer. “They were having cake and toasting. Apparently, he just walked in with this rifle.”
Some reports also state that the gunman was wearing body armor, though these have not been confirmed by local law enforcement.
The man reportedly had additional hostages, beyond the three that remain, but released them.
Law enforcement officials are aware of the shooter’s identity but are not releasing those details at this time. Currently, no one is known to be injured.
The Veterans Home of California is considered the largest facility of its kind in the US, housing approximately 1,000 veterans, according to Robertson.
— KTVU (@KTVU) March 9, 2018