Armed man takes hostages at veterans' home in California
“We’re currently dealing with an active shooter situation,” California Highway Patrol spokesman Robert Nacke told reporters shortly after 1 pm local time.
“As of this moment, there have been no injuries. However, the suspect has three hostages detained in one room. We have him confined,” CHP's Chris Childs told reporters at a 2pm follow-up conference.
A Napa Sheriff’s department deputy “was on scene and engaged with what we now know as a suspect in one of the buildings” just four minutes after an emergency call was received, Childs added. “Gunfire was exchanged… It is not known at this time how many rounds were exchanged.”
Three different tactical teams are currently on-site and in the building, keeping the gunman contained to one location. “We have hostage negotiators from at least three different agencies,” Childs told reporters.
CHP has brought in a significant amount of resources in an effort to end the active shooter hostage situation at Yountville Veterans Home of California. We will conduct s press conference at 2PM. pic.twitter.com/HPU5K68gfo— CHP Golden Gate (@CHP_GoldenGate) March 9, 2018
There was little to update the public on about the hostage situation at a press conference at 6pm. Sgt Robert Nacke of CHP told reporters that they are dealing with a "fluid and dynamic situation." So far, no contact has been made with the hostage taker.
A shooter armed with what is believed to be a high-powered rifle reportedly stormed the Veterans Home of California in Yountville at about 10:30am. Police immediately responded to the active shooter situation. According to Napa Valley Register, the suspect was wearing body armor and was armed with an automatic weapon. He is believed to have taken several people hostage in Building G. Besides heavy police presence, law enforcement also deployed “aerial resources” to the scene. California Highway Patrol also sent a SWAT team to the area. Agents from ATF are also responding, CBS reports.
California Highway Patrol also deployed the Mobile Consolidated Command Center (MCCC) to serve as an office for emergency personnel. The trailer has a conference room and an operations room fully equipped with computers and emergency phones as well as a dispatch center.
At this point it remains unclear if there are any casualties in the ongoing hostage incident. Authorities have been working to establish a secure perimeter around the facility, California Highway Patrol Officer John Fransen said, adding that armored police vehicles, several fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene.
The CHP is aware of the incident at the Yountville Veterans Home and has officers and aerial resources on scene working with Napa County Sheriff’s deputies and others to bring the situation to a safe conclusion. A CHP SWAT team is also enroute. More details as info is available.— CHP Headquarters (@CHP_HQ) March 9, 2018
The suspect has not been identified yet. According to the Napa Valley Register, he could be a 36-year-old former member of The Pathway Home, a privately run program for military veterans with emotional trauma, who was reportedly discharged from the program two weeks ago.
The hostage situation is believed to have developed when the armed man interrupted a going-away party and staff meeting at the northern California veterans home. While allowing some people to leave the event, the armed man reportedly forced others to stay, taking them hostage, Larry Kamer, whose wife Devereaux Smith attended the party, told the Associated Press. While the exact number of hostages has not yet been confirmed, Napa County Fire captain Chase Beckman noted earlier that the gunman took at least three people hostage.
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