YOUNTVILLE, CALIFORNIA: unman entered a California home for disabled veterans on Friday, fired numerous shots and took three hostages, but there were no injuries at the sprawling facility in the Napa Valley’s wine country, authorities said.
State Senator Bill Dodd, who represents the area, told reporters that the gunman was a member of the Pathway Home, a program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The hostages were believed to be employees at the Yountville Veterans Home who worked with the suspect in the Pathway program, he said.
Larry Kramer told Reuters his wife worked at the facility, the largest of its kind in the country and home to about 1,000 veterans about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of San Francisco.
“She’s quite shaken up. She’s in a locked down building,” Larry Kramer told Reuters after speaking by phone to his wife who is safe but sheltering in place. “She said it was just very calm. He walked in with a rifle. She was face to face with him when he walked in.”
Hostage negotiators from three different agencies were trying to make contact with the suspect, the California Highway Patrol said.
“Gunfire was exchanged. It’s not known at this time how many rounds were exchanged, but I am happy to report that at this moment there have been no injuries,” CHP spokesman Chris Childs told reporters.
The standoff comes less than a month after a former student with an assault-style rifle killed 17 people at a Florida high school. The massacre touched off a student-led drive for new restrictions on gun ownership to prevent the kind of mass shootings that have become epidemic in the United States.