3 hostages, gunman found dead in Yountville Veterans Home

YOUNTVILLE (KRON) - The gunman and three hostages have been found dead inside a Yountville veterans home.

KRON4's Terisa Estacio confirmed the news on Friday night.

The three hostages who died are women.

Authorities had not had contact with the gunman holding three people hostage for nearly eight hours and police tactical teams were forming plans on how to deal with the ongoing situation at a veterans home in California.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Robert Nacke told reporters that "there has not been any confirmed communication with the gunman since 10:30 in the morning."

Officials said those being held were employees of The Pathway Home, a privately run program on the veterans home's grounds.

The program treats veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Brian Goder had been locked down in the main dining room of the Veterans Home of California-Yountville for hours.

Goder says the program treats veterans who "have more troubles than others."

He posted videos on Facebook of the police wearing fatigues marching into the building around 3 p.m. It wasn't clear what agency they were from.

Meanwhile, California authorities say some students rehearsing a play on the grounds of the largest veterans home in the U.S. had been locked down when a gunman took hostages.

But Napa County Sheriff John Robertson told reporters that about 80 students were near the area where the hostages were taken but were never in danger.

Teenagers from Justin-Siena High School who had been rehearsing in the theater drove themselves out in a line of cars Friday afternoon.

Sasha Craig spotted a family car carrying her 15- and 17-year-old children. She ran toward it, blowing kisses. She says teens had been texting their parents to "chill."

One man had said the gunman quietly came into a going-away party and staff meeting at a Northern California veterans home and let some leave, while keeping others hostage.

Larry Kamer says his wife, Devereaux Smith, is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Pathway Home.

She was at the party Friday morning of 10 to 15 people at the Yountville veterans home.

Army veteran and resident Bob Sloan, 73, was working at the home’s TV station when a co-worker came in and said he had heard four gunshots coming from the Pathway Home. Sloan sent alerts for residents to stay put.

“People are starting to get concerned because it’s been going on for so long,” he told AP by phone from inside the lockdown.

Jan Thornton of Vallejo, California, was among hundreds of relatives worried about how their loved ones were coping with the lockdown.

Thornton said her 96-year-old father, a World War II fighter pilot, was inside a hospital wing and that she had reached one of his friends who said he was safe.

Still, she worried about the stress of the lockdown, considering her father’s age and that he has PTSD and some dementia. Thornton said her “heart just bleeds for the people that are being held hostage.”

Some of the children were driven away on school buses and others in cars. Sasha Craig spotted a car carrying her 15- and 17-year-old children and ran toward it blowing kisses.

“There are my kids,” she said. Like many parents, she was texting with her children inside and said the teenagers were telling their parents to “chill.”

Yvette Bennett, a wound-care supply worker who supplies the veterans center, was turned back when she tried to deliver what she called urgently needed medical supplies for two patients inside.

Of all the medical institutions she has worked with, “this is the most placid, calm, serene place,” she said. Earlier this week, when she last visited, she asked a doctor, “What’s your magic here?”

Yountville is a small town that’s home to wineries such as Domaine Chandon, which is less than a half-mile from the veterans facility, and Thomas Keller’s famed restaurant The French Laundry, which is about a mile away.





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