Man Who Killed 3 at Veterans Home Before Killing Himself Was Decorated Veteran
A gunman who killed three hostages at a California veterans home Friday before taking his own life was reportedly a decorated soldier who had been kicked out of the home’s PTSD program.
Former Army infantryman Albert Wong, 36, arrived at Pathway Home at the Veterans Home of California shortly before 10:30 a.m. with an automatic weapon, reports said.
A going-away party was underway when Wong showed up and he reportedly let some people go before he acted, reports said.
Wong, a former patient of the program, took program executive director Christine Loeber,48, clinical director Jennifer Golick and psychologist Jennifer Gonzalez, 29, hostage as the facility went into lockdown.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert Nacke said negotiators were unable to make contact with the Wong throughout the day. When a tactical entered the building eight hours later, all three women and Wong were dead inside.
“These Brave Women were accomplished professionals who dedicated their careers to serving our nation’s veterans, working closely with those in the greatest need of attention after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan,” The Pathway Home said in a statement. “All of us at The Pathway Home are devastated by today’s events. We stand with the families, friends, and colleagues who share in this terrible loss.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown said flags at the capitol will be flown at half-staff in remembrance of the victims and their families.
“Anne and I are deeply saddened by the horrible violence at the Yountville Veterans Home, which tragically took the lives of three people dedicated to serving our veterans. Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones and the entire community of Yountville,” Brown said in a statement.
Wong had reportedly been removed from the program at the home, which treats PTSD-afflicted veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, two weeks prior to the murders but it is unclear why.
Wong served in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He’d received a number of service awards, including one for expert marksmanship with a rifle, the New York Daily News reported.
Wong, who held licenses as a private investigator, firearms trainer and security guard, also had a firearm license, reports said.
The Veterans Home of California is one of the largest veterans homes in the country