The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Gunman in deadly California siege was decorated veteran
OUNTVILLE, Calif.,: Details emerged on Saturday about a decorated former US serviceman who took three women hostage at a California veterans home where he had undergone treatment for PTSD, in a standoff that ended when police found him and his captives dead.
The Veterans Home of California in Yountville, the largest such facility in the United States, was the scene on Friday of the latest mass shooting to rock a country still shocked by the slaughter last month of 17 people at a Florida high school.
We also lost one of our heroes, who clearly had demons that resulted in the terrible tragedy that we all experienced here. John Dunbar,Yountville Mayor
Officials named the gunman as Albert Wong, 36, of Sacramento, and said he had served with the US Army on active duty from May 2010 to August 2013 and spent a year in Afghanistan. He received four medals including an Afghanistan campaign medal and was awarded an Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle, the Pentagon said.
Wong had been a patient of Pathway Home, a programme at the Yountville complex for former service members suffering post-traumatic stress disorder after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The San Francisco Chronicle, citing unnamed sources, said he had been asked to leave the program two weeks ago.
Yountville Mayor John Dunbar, who also serves as a board member of the Pathway Home, said the facility and the town mourned the loss of the three women.
“We also lost one of our heroes, who clearly had demons that resulted in the terrible tragedy that we all experienced here,” he told reporters.
James Musson, a 75-year-old Army veteran and resident of the facility, told Reuters many who lived there voiced concerns about lax security, saying visitors could walk in and out without restriction and that public safety officers were not armed.
Dunbar said the deaths were the first ‘serious incident’ at the home since it began to treat veterans more than 10 years ago.
He was scheduled to meet officials from the California Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss how to move ahead.