Calif. veterans home caught in a deadly hostage-taking can never re-open amid security questions



Do not forget the victims of the California veterans home shoot

Women dedicated to the treatment of veterans, were fatally shot by a former patient.

The Northern California treatment facility where an Army veteran killed three woman and himself, after a siege of Friday, remained closed over the weekend and may never reopen, the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday.

A spokesman of the private Pathway Home in Yountville told the newspaper that the programs of the six patients were moved to different hotels in Napa County, while law enforcement officials continue their investigation.

“We do not know whether that building is going to be a place that people want to live, want to work in, after what happened Friday,” Larry Room told the Chronicle. “It’s not like people can just forget what happened back then, to go further, and work and have their group sessions. It has bullet holes in it.”

The researchers said 36-year-old Albert Wong, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, slipped into a going away party for some of the Journey Home-staff Friday morning. He let some people leave, but his three victims remain behind. They were later identified as a Pathway House Executive Director Christine Loeber, 48; Clinical Director, Jennifer Golick, 42; and Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, 32, a clinical psychologist with the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Health care system.

The researchers were also looking for how Wong — who Golick had been driven out of The road Home weeks — managed to get inside the building without being noticed.

According to the Record, the facility is monitored 24 hours per day by roaming unarmed personnel and surveillance cameras placed at the front door and the corridors. The paper also reported that the house has a sign-in desk at the entrance of the site.

The State of California Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA), the union representative of the safety of staff, issued a statement Friday calling for armed guards at veterans homes, hospitals, and other facilities.

“To date, the administrators are prepared to take the risk of the public security are not necessarily trained law enforcement officers with firearms,” CSLEA the statement read. “Instead of the State taking a proactive approach to adequately protect their residents, staff and visitors, CSLEA, the fears are, and remain, that it is a tragic event to force administrators to finally act.”

In response, California Department of Veterans Affairs spokeswoman June Iljana told the Chronicle it would be “inappropriate to speculate until the investigation concludes and all the facts are known.”

Fernando Juarez, 36, Of Napa center, the embrace of his 22-year-old sister, Vanessa Flores, right, at the Veterans Home of California on Friday. Flores, who is a caregiver at the facility, texts exchanged with family while sheltering in place.

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Wong served in the Army Reserve from 1998 to 2002, and then called up for active service in May 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011, according to military records.

Wong always wanted to the Army and his country, and was “thoughtful and calm,” Cissy Sherr, his guardian, when he was a child, told the Associated Press.

Sherr and her husband was Wong’s guardian after the death of his father and his mother developed health problems, she said. He moved back in with them for a while in 2013 after he returned from his deployment in Afghanistan and kept in touch online.

Wong thought that the Path program would help him only after the Army, she said. According to the memory of her, he said to her: “I think I’m going to get a lot of help from this program.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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