Q&A: What’s known about fa­tal shoot­ings at Yountville vets home

Ripon Bulletin - - Local / State -

YOUNTVILLE (AP) — Three days af­ter a for­mer Army ri­fle­man killed three men­tal health care work­ers at a pro­gram where he had re­ceived care in North­ern California, there are still more ques­tions than an­swers. Al­bert Wong, 36, slipped into a go­ing-away party at The Path­way Home on Fri­day morn­ing. About seven hours later, a ro­bot with a video feed showed of­fi­cers that Wong and the three work­ers were dead.

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 Health­care Sys­tem who was nearly 7 months preg­nant died in the siege.

Here are some of the things of­fi­cials have said about what hap­pened and ques­tions that re­main:

Did of­fi­cials at The Path­way Home, at the Vet­er­ans Ad­min­is­tra­tion or in the mil­i­tary ever re­port any con­cerns about Al­bert Wong’s men­tal health to out­side au­thor­i­ties?

Napa County Sher­iff’s Capt. Steve Blower said Mon­day that his of­fice had re­ceived no prior re­ports from men­tal health work­ers alert­ing them to con­cerns about Wong’s men­tal health or that he was a dan­ger to oth­ers, though his agency would have been a pri­mary point of con­tact for such re­port­ing. The U.S. Army has de­clined to pro­vide more de­tails be­yond Wong’s ba­sic ser­vice record, which shows he served in Afghanistan from April 2011 to March 2012 and re­ceived nu­mer­ous awards.

Stan­ford Univer­sity psy­chi­a­try pro­fes­sor Keith Humphreys said men­tal health care pro­fes­sion­als are re­quired by state law to re­port to law en­force­ment agen­cies pa­tients they believe have made a “cred­i­ble, spe­cific threat against a spe­cific in­di­vid­ual.” Humphreys also said pa­tients can be re­ported who are “gravely dis­abled” or pose a “se­ri­ous dan­ger” to them­selves or oth­ers.

Why was Wong kicked out of the treat­ment pro­gram, and what help was he given when he was re­moved?

Path­way Home spokesman Larry Kamer de­clined to com­ment, cit­ing “con­fi­den­tial­ity rules and the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” There have been re­ports that Wong may have threat­ened one of the women, but Napa County of­fi­cials and the California High­way Pa­trol have de­clined to com­ment on those re­ports, say­ing they are pre­ma­ture.

Did Wong’s be­hav­ior prompt any re­ports to gun reg­istries?

The California At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice op­er­ates a gun registry, but the agency de­clined to say Mon­day if Wong’s pre­vi­ous be­hav­ior or ac­tions while en­rolled in the pro­gram and his sub­se­quent ex­pul­sion prompted any re­ports to the gun registry or a pro­gram that seizes firearms from those who are no longer al­lowed to have them be­cause of men­tal ill­ness or crim­i­nal con­vic­tions.

“Since this is an ac­tive case, every­thing has to come from the in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency,” spokes­woman Bethany Lesser said in an email.

How many guns did Wong own and did he legally ob­tain/re­tain them af­ter he en­rolled in an in-pa­tient men­tal health pro­gram?

In­ves­ti­ga­tors haven’t pub­licly iden­ti­fied the weapon Wong used to kill the three men­tal health work­ers. Wong’s state per­mit to carry a 9-mil­lime­ter gun as a se­cu­rity guard was can­celled last Oc­to­ber af­ter he failed to pay the Bureau of Se­cu­rity and In­ves­tiga­tive Ser­vices, agency spokesman Matt Wood­cheke said Mon­day. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra’s of­fice, which is re­spon­si­ble for per­form­ing gun back­ground checks for buy­ers, de­clined to pro­vide records. Bureau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco, Firearms and Ex­plo­sives spokes­woman Alexan­dria Corneiro did not re­spond to a re­quest Mon­day about whether fed­eral agents had traced the weapons used in the shoot­ing or de­ter­mined how many guns Wong owned.

At what point were the women killed? Did law en­force­ment re­spond prop­erly dur­ing the siege when they waited for eight hours to go into the room where Wong had kept the women inside?

Capt. Blower of the sher­iff’s of­fice said a deputy ex­changed gun­fire 10 min­utes af­ter he re­sponded to a 10:20 a.m. re­port of “shots fired” at the vet­er­ans. home.

Blower said Wong fled into a room, slam­ming shut the door and the deputy didn’t fol­low the gun­man into the room. Au­thor­i­ties say it’s ap­par­ent the vic­tims were shot Fri­day morn­ing be­cause no gun­fire was heard af­ter­ward.

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