Gunman at Veterans Home of California in Yountville has 3 hostages; motive remains unclear

An equipped man took three hostages throughout an “active shooter situation” in a California veterans home Friday mid-day, officials confirmed, enacting a lockdown of the facility.

At 10: twenty a. m., authorities received the call of shots fired on the Yountville veterans home, considered the biggest such facility in the country, prompting many law enforcement agencies to respond, Assistant Main Chris Childs, of the California Freeway Patrol’s Golden Gate Division, mentioned during an evening news conference.

Within 4 minutes, a Napa County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene plus encountered the suspect in one of the structures, Childs said. Gunfire was sold.

“It’s unfamiliar at this time how many rounds were sold but I am happy to report that will as of this moment, there have been no accidents, ” he said.

The suspect can be contained to one room, along with his 3 hostages, Childs said. Hostage negotiators from at least three agencies are in the scene, waiting to make contact with the person.

But as of the particular midafternoon, California time, the purpose remained undetermined and the suspect’s identification had yet to be released.

The hostages are reportedly not veterans house employees, but rather Pathway Home workers, a privately run program in the veterans home’s grounds. That team “serves post-9/11 veterans affected by deployment-related stress, ” according to the Pathway Homes  website .

The gunman is holding three individuals hostage inside the Yountville veterans house in California, police said.   (KTVU)

Within an interview with The Associated Press, Lewis Kamer said his wife, Devereaux Smith, a fundraiser for the not for profit Pathway Home, told him simply by phone that the gunman had ended up quietly into an employee going-away celebration and staff meeting at the house. Some people were reportedly permitted in order to leave while others were taken hostage. Kamer said his wife is currently inside the home’s dining hall and it is not allowed to leave.

Childs characterized the problem as “very active and powerful. ”

The California Highway Patrol provides assumed primary investigative jurisdiction more than the  situation because the veterans house is a state-owned facility, he stated.

Napa County Sheriff John Robertson stated authorities know who the believe is, but he declined to get a name. There have been several attempts to get hold of the individual since 10: 30 the. m. by both cellphone plus phones in the facility, he mentioned.

Robertson added that he knows none of the particular deputies were injured but failed to have an official status on the situation of the hostages. The suspect do release some people, he said, yet kept the three people he is presently holding.

The motivation for the episode had not been clear, he said.

In all, 15 to 20 photos went off at the facility, law enforcement said, according to  KTVU .

California Highway Patrol Officer John Fransen told it the property of the large veterans house was evacuated after reports arrived about an armed man at the grounds and law enforcement was trying to build a secure perimeter.

“We do have the shooter situation with a hostage scenario in Yountville, ” Fransen informed KTVU.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to the particular hostage scene.   (KTVU)

A number of ambulances, fireplace trucks and an armored law enforcement vehicle were seen at the home.

Earlier within the afternoon,   The Press Democrat reported that family members of employees and residents were at the picture, anxiously awaiting word. Fernando Juarez, 36, of Napa said their 22-year-old sister Vanessa Flores is really a caregiver at the facility and had been exchanging texts with family whilst sheltering in place with a client.

Flores informed family she could hear individuals yelling “Get down! Get straight down! ” She also asked the girl brother to ensure her 3-year-old kid is taken care of if she must not survive the ordeal.

“I’m trying to end up being calm, ” Juarez said.

According to the  California  Section of Veterans Affairs , the particular Veterans  Home of California within Yountville dates back to 1884 and it is considered the largest veterans home within the U. S. with more than 1000 experienced from all wars dating back in order to World War II.

This is a breaking news story. Booking back for more information. The Associated Push contributed to this report.

Lucia I. Suarez Did is a Reporter for FoxNews. possuindo.   Follow her on Tweets @luciasuarezsang