A decorated soldier who was kicked from a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment program killed three hostages before committing suicide at a veterans’ home in California on Friday.
The gunman, identified as 36-year-old Albert Wong, entered the Pathway Home at the Veterans Home of California at around 10:30 a.m. carrying at least a rifle and a shot gun.
In the subsequent standoff, the former infantryman from Sacramento took three people hostages: 48-year-old program executive director Christine Loeber, 29-year-old clinical psychologist Jennifer Gonzalez and clinical director Jennifer Golick.
For hours, authorities attempted to get in touch with Wong but were unable to reach him. When officers entered the building some eight hours later, they found that the gunman and his three victims were already dead.
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Pathway Home’s top psychologist and one of the victims, Golick, reportedly ordered Wong to be removed from the program which treats PTSD-afflicted veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan two weeks before according to State Senator Bill Dodd via CNN.
Law enforcement sources told CNN on the condition of anonymity said Wong was booted from the program because he threatened one of the women.
His United States Army records show that Wong served in Afghanistan from April 2011 to March 2012. For his service, he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Good Conduct Medal and campaign stars for fighting global terrorism and for marksmanship. Wong was honorably discharged from the army.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Wong, who was a licensed security guard and security trainer, acquired his firearms permit through the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services beginning in 2008.
Wong has previously lived in a house on Darling Street in Napa before he moved to the Yountville facility about a year ago.
“We also lost one of our heroes who clearly had demons that resulted in the terrible tragedy that we all experienced here,” Yountville Mayor John Dunbar said at a news conference on Saturday.
The Veterans Home of California, which houses about 1,000 veterans, is the largest veterans home in the United States.