Hostage Situation at Largest Veterans Home in US

Police have gunman, 3 hostages surrounded at Veterans Home of California
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2018 5:43 PM CST
Hostage Situation at Largest Veterans Home in US
An armored vehicle arrives at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, Calif., on Friday March 9, 2018.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Three people were being held hostage by a gunman Friday afternoon at the largest veterans home in the US, CNN reports. According to KCRA, shots were reported fired in the dining room of the Veterans Home of California in Napa Valley around 10:20am. Authorities say the gunman, who is armed with an unknown type of rifle, exchanged shots with police and took multiple hostages, eventually letting all but three go, the AP reports. California Highway Patrol assistant chief Chris Childs says the remaining hostages are employees of The Pathway Home, a nonprofit that treats veterans with PTSD at the facility. Their condition is unknown. The husband of a woman who works with the nonprofit says the gunman entered a going-away party and staff meeting Friday morning.

Authorities say the gunman is confined to one room, which has been surrounded by police, and poses no threat to the public. Napa County Sheriff John Robertson says they know who the gunman is but aren't releasing his identity. They've been unable to contact him on his cellphone or facility phones and aren't sure of his motivation. Hostage negotiators are on the scene. A spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol says they are unaware of any injuries at this time. Both the FBI and ATF responded to the situation. About 80 high school students were rehearsing a play at the facility when hostages were taken, but Robertson says they were never in danger. A mom of two of the students says they were texting her to "chill." The Veterans Home of California was founded in 1884 and is home to around 1,000 veterans. (More hostages stories.)

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