California veterans home Victims identified as 3 ‘brave women’

California Veterans Home Shooting
The three brave women who lost their lives as they were gunned down by an ex-patient of the California Veteran’s treatment center have been identified. The women, Christine Loeber, 48, executive director of the program; Jennifer Golick, 42, a clinical director; and Jennifer Gonzales, 29, a clinical psychologist, were found dead from gun shot wounds Friday night. Police say former patient of the Veterans Home, Albert Wong, 36, held the three hostage for nearly eight hours before he killed himself along with the women.

Allegedly, Wong entered The Veterans Home of California-Yountville around 10:30 a.m. Friday morning. There he managed to slip in to an employee party for Pathway Home, which is housed on the site. The treatment center is dedicated to aiding veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome.

Wong, from Sacramento, was a former patient at the center. Once an Army infantryman who served a year in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012, Wong held a number of service awards, including one for expert marksmanship with a rifle.

A Napa County sheriff’s deputy responded to an emergency call sometime after 10 a.m. He exchanged gunfire with the suspect. Shortly after, the women were taken hostage.

The deputy is credited with saving the lives of others in the area. California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris Childs believes the exchange eliminated the suspect’s ability to go out and find further victims. The officer was not injured.

While it is still unclear why the three women were chosen and others were allowed to leave, Wong entered into a police standoff that lasted nearly eight hours.

One victim was able to make a cell phone call and told her husband she had been taken hostage. After the 10:30 a.m. call, there was no more contact.

The three women, who all served in professional capacities in order to provide treatment to veterans, were found when law enforcement entered a room where they believed the hostages were being held. The three women and the suspected gunman were all dead, Childs said.

This ongoing story will be updated.


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