3 Women, Gunman Dead After Hostage Standoff at California Veterans Home

After an apparent hourslong standoff between police and a gunman, three women were found dead Friday night at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, authorities said.

The suspect was also found dead, Chris Childs, assistant chief of the California Highway Patrol’s Golden Gate Division, told reporters.

The three victims were earlier described as employees of The Pathway Home, a counseling service for veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is on the property.

The suspect had been a client at facility until he left two weeks ago, according to State Senator Bill Dodd.

It’s unclear if the women were chosen at random or had a connection with the gunman.

Hostage negotiators had spent hours trying to contact the gunman at the facility north of San Francisco but were not able to do so, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Robert Nacke. After the victims were found, investigators were left to determine when during the standoff the deaths occurred.

California Gov. Jerry Brown said the shooting “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.

The governor has ordered flags in the state’s capitol to fly at half staff in tribute to the victims and their families.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ralph Ellis