The Latest: Mayor: Gunman was hero who ‘clearly had demons’
YOUNTVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a fatal shooting at a California veterans center (all times local):
The mayor of a California town where a former soldier killed three women at a veterans treatment center says the employees will be remembered as beautiful people and called the gunman “one of our heroes who clearly had demons.”
Yountville Mayor John Dunbar said Saturday the shooting a day earlier at the Pathway Home was a “terrible tragedy.”
Dunbar also serves on the board of directors for the Pathway Home, a treatment program for veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He says the three women who were killed “lived their lives selflessly to serve others.”
Dunbar says the Pathway Home will continue to operate. He says the program’s board will meet later Saturday to discuss the plan.
The gunman, who was also found dead, was identified by police as 36-year-old Albert Wong.
The head of a Northern California treatment center for veterans is being remembered as a warm, compassionate woman who cared deeply for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Christine Loeber was executive director of the Pathway Home, a treatment program for veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sandra Woodford, who works at the crafts center on the Yountville veterans home campus across from Pathway Home, says Loeber wanted to make sure younger vets would be welcome and treated warmly.
She says the 48-year-old Loeber was intelligent, delightful, outgoing and charming.
Loeber worked at Department of Veterans Affairs clinics in San Francisco and Menlo Park before going to The Pathway Home, the setting for a 2017 fictional movie about a Marine with PTSD called “Thank You for Your Service.”
She was one of three women killed Friday by Albert Wong after a daylong siege.
Yellow police tape surrounded the multilevel, vanilla-colored stucco building that houses a program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress a day after a deadly Northern California shooting.
Some began placing flowers near the sign for the Pathway Home program at the Yountville veterans home in Napa Valley Saturday.
Veterans from earlier wars passed by the building that houses the program. They spoke of the three victims who worked for the program and the gunman.
Muriel Zimmer, an 84-year-old Air Force veteran of the Korean War, said she even feels badly for the gunman, who has been identified as Afghanistan Army veteran Albert Wong.
Zimmer says she “cannot blame him. It’s because of the war.”
She says she would exchange encouraging words and hugs with vets at the post-trauma home when she could.
President Donald Trump has tweeted he is “deeply saddened” by the shooting that took the lives of three women who worked at a California veterans center.
Trump tweeted Saturday morning that he mourns “the loss of three incredible women who cared for our Veterans.”
Authorities say 36-year-old former Army rifleman Albert Wong killed two executives and a psychologist Friday at The Pathway Home, a nonprofit post-traumatic stress disorder program at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville in the Napa Valley wine region. He had slipped into a going-away party for some Pathway employees.
A daylong siege at The Pathway House ended Friday evening with the discovery of four bodies, including the gunman.
Investigators haven’t yet determined a motive.
A relative of one victim said Wong was recently expelled from the program.
The gunman who killed three women at a Northern California veterans center had been kicked out of a therapy program for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The suspect identified as Afghanistan veteran Albert Wong was found dead Friday evening by Napa Valley sheriff’s deputies at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville.
Wong slipped into a going-away party for some employees of The Pathway Home, a nonprofit post-traumatic stress disorder program. He took some people hostage and let others go.
Authorities say he traded gunshots with a deputy early on and then nothing more was heard until his body was found along with those of the home’s executive director, clinical director and a psychologist.
A relative of one victim says Wong recently was kicked out of the program.