Hostage situation, shots fired at California veterans home

Hostage situation, shots fired at California veterans home

The law enforcement departments who have responded to the hostage situation include the Napa County Sheriff, Napa Police Department, Sonoma County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"There was a going-away party for a couple of the staff who were leaving today", he said.

"(My) heart just bleeds for the people that are being held hostage", Thornton said.

Nobody is known to be injured, he said, but earlier the man and officers fired shots at each other.

California authorities say officers exchanged gunfire with a gunman holding three veterans program employees hostage at the largest veterans home in the U.S.

At 10:20 a.m. PT, reports came into police that a man dressed in black, wearing body armor and armed with an automatic weapon entered the grounds of the facility, according to the Napa Valley Register.

California authorities say some students rehearsing a play on the grounds of the veterans home had been locked down when a gunman took hostages.

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California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris Childs says they haven't made contact with the gunman who's confined to one room but that hostage negotiators are standing by. Police have surrounded the facility and are telling people to avoid the area.

Also, a hotline for family members has been set up for those who want to check on the status of employees or patients of the veterans home.

The state Veterans Affairs department says the home that opened in 1984 is the nation's largest veterans home, with about 1,000 elderly and disabled residents.

"I'm waiting for a phone call from my daughter", Harrison said.

The FBI has deployed a SWAT team to Yountville, spokesperson Katherine Zackel said.

Napa County Sheriff John Robertson told reporters Friday that "many bullets" were fired but that the deputies weren't injured. Veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom live at the home, according to the website.

According to California Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Home of California in Yountville dates back to 1884 and is considered the largest veterans home in the US with more than 1000 veterans from all wars dating back to World War II. Yountville sits about 56 miles north of San Francisco and is in the North Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay area.

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