State Senator Bill Dodd was at a meeting about emergency alerts this morning when his emergency alert went off, along with those of Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore and District 4 Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry. The alert they’d just gotten was about the active shooter situation at the California Veteran’s Home in Yountville, located in Dodd’s district. He says he’s just had a briefing with the governor’s office and that the shooter has been identified, though his name is not yet being released. “This was a veteran who has PTSD that was in a program and apparently terminated from that program and came back with body armor and an automatic weapon. They know who he is,” Dodd says. The Napa Valley Register is reporting that the hostage-taker is a 36-year-old man who was part of a program on the facility called the Pathway Home, a non-profit that’s on the grounds of the veteran’s center, and is licensed by the state, according to its website, which describes the 501-c3 thus:
“The Pathway Home (TPH) is an innovative, sustainable, residential program that serves post-9/11 Veterans affected by deployment-related stress. Many of these Veterans have seen multiple combat deployments, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, mild-Traumatic Brain Injury, depression, substance abuse, and other post-deployment issues often impede their re-entry to civilian life. The costs to them are high: derailed academic careers, professional frustration, and stress on personal relationships. We recognize this, intervene early, and provide a structured community that helps overcome the stigma of more traditional settings by integrating wraparound mental health services and community support in a residential setting.”
Dodd says that there are no known injuries within the facility, “not as of this time,” and reports that 20-30 shots were fired. “It’s still pretty active,” he says as of about 12:15pm.
News photos from the scene are showing up on the Twittersphere with lots of ambulances lined up. Reports are emerging that the hostage-taker may have been a veteran of the U.S. Army who had served in Afghanistan. CNN is on the story.
As of 2:30pm, the Napa Sheriff’s office says three hostages are employees of Pathway Home. Law enforcement would not provide any details about the shooter except to say that they had his cell phone number and tried to contact him through the day to no avail. The FBI is on the scene along with U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, whose Congressional district encompasses Yountville.