Breaking: Active shooter takes hostages at largest veteran's home in U.S.

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By VT

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A active shooter sneaked into an employee going away party and took three people hostage at the Veterans Home of California. The 600 acre facility is the largest retirement home for veterans in the United States, housing 840 aged and disabled residents. It is located in Yountville, California, a small town located just ten miles north of the Napa Valley. The three hostages are employees of The Pathway Home, a counseling service for veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. Their condition is not known at this time.

Authorities know who the man is and have tried to reach him on his cell phone. However, for the past four hours, they have been engaged in a standoff, and failed to make contact. At a news conference, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson revealed that they had exchanged gunfire: "We are approaching this as an active-shooter situation. There was an exchange of gunfire by both our deputy and the suspect. There were many bullets fired." Reportedly, the gunman has been confined to one room.

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At 10:20AM, Napa County authorities were alerted a man was on campus carrying an automatic weapon, and possibly wearing body armor. "He's in Madison Hall, Building G, the Pathway House," said the dispatcher. "Units be advised he does have a stash of bullets around his neck." Deputies were told that the man served in Afghanistan, and was a former resident at the facility. Senator Chris Dodd said the gunman may be a veteran suffering from PTSD, who was asked to leave a program. He added that the hostages may include the executive director and two clinical staff members.

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At 2:00 pm, the Napa County Sheriff’s Department posted a message on Facebook: "Police activity at the Veterans Home in Yountville. Please avoid the area. No action required."

"Law enforcement authorities have responded to the Yountville Veterans Home this morning following reports of gunfire near the main dining hall," said state Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Joshua Kiser in an email. "The facility is on lockdown, and all residents and staff are sheltering in place. We will continue to update you as we get more information."

Police evacuated the rest of the residents from the Veterans Home. Hostage negotiators are on site, and the department has sent multiple ambulances to the scene in case they are needed.

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Local citizen Larry Kamer told The Associated Press that his wife, Devereaux Smith, was at the staff  party, and communicated with him by phone."There was a going-away party for a couple of the staff who were leaving today," Larry told CNN. "They were having cake and toasting, apparently, he just walked in with this rifle." According to Devereaux, the gunman slipped into the room quietly and took some people hostage, while allowing others to leave. His motive is still unknown.

We will update the story as more information becomes available.

Breaking: Active shooter takes hostages at largest veteran's home in U.S.

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

A active shooter sneaked into an employee going away party and took three people hostage at the Veterans Home of California. The 600 acre facility is the largest retirement home for veterans in the United States, housing 840 aged and disabled residents. It is located in Yountville, California, a small town located just ten miles north of the Napa Valley. The three hostages are employees of The Pathway Home, a counseling service for veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. Their condition is not known at this time.

Authorities know who the man is and have tried to reach him on his cell phone. However, for the past four hours, they have been engaged in a standoff, and failed to make contact. At a news conference, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson revealed that they had exchanged gunfire: "We are approaching this as an active-shooter situation. There was an exchange of gunfire by both our deputy and the suspect. There were many bullets fired." Reportedly, the gunman has been confined to one room.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/nbcbayarea/status/972191618194378752]]

At 10:20AM, Napa County authorities were alerted a man was on campus carrying an automatic weapon, and possibly wearing body armor. "He's in Madison Hall, Building G, the Pathway House," said the dispatcher. "Units be advised he does have a stash of bullets around his neck." Deputies were told that the man served in Afghanistan, and was a former resident at the facility. Senator Chris Dodd said the gunman may be a veteran suffering from PTSD, who was asked to leave a program. He added that the hostages may include the executive director and two clinical staff members.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/nbcbayarea/status/972191618194378752]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/KTVU/status/972198939179937792]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/MyCalVet/status/972190349866147840]]

At 2:00 pm, the Napa County Sheriff’s Department posted a message on Facebook: "Police activity at the Veterans Home in Yountville. Please avoid the area. No action required."

"Law enforcement authorities have responded to the Yountville Veterans Home this morning following reports of gunfire near the main dining hall," said state Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Joshua Kiser in an email. "The facility is on lockdown, and all residents and staff are sheltering in place. We will continue to update you as we get more information."

Police evacuated the rest of the residents from the Veterans Home. Hostage negotiators are on site, and the department has sent multiple ambulances to the scene in case they are needed.

[[facebookwidget||https://www.facebook.com/NapaCountySO/posts/10156427406002216]]

Local citizen Larry Kamer told The Associated Press that his wife, Devereaux Smith, was at the staff  party, and communicated with him by phone."There was a going-away party for a couple of the staff who were leaving today," Larry told CNN. "They were having cake and toasting, apparently, he just walked in with this rifle." According to Devereaux, the gunman slipped into the room quietly and took some people hostage, while allowing others to leave. His motive is still unknown.

We will update the story as more information becomes available.