California to Pay $51 Million Settlement over Hostage Killings at Napa Veterans Dwelling

California officers have agreed to pay out $51 million to settle a few of the claims stemming from the 2018 capturing on the Yountville Veterans Dwelling, the place a gunman and former affected person killed three girls staffers earlier than capturing himself, in response to state funds paperwork.

The settlement “authorizes $51 million one-time to pay for settlement prices on the Veterans Dwelling of California, Yountville associated to the 2018 capturing,” in accordance state funds paperwork authorised by the Legislature this week.

Ronald Foreman, the legal professional for the household of Dr. Jennifer Golick, a 42-year-old therapist killed by the gunman, stated the settlement “is step one in a protracted journey” and that different lawsuits over the incident are pending.

“That is step one in getting them compensation for the horrible tragedy they suffered on March 9, 2018, and proceed to undergo,” Foreman stated.

Officers with the California Division of Veterans Affairs stated they have been working to answer e-mail queries from The Bee concerning which lawsuits the settlement covers.

The capturing has sparked wrongful loss of life lawsuits, together with at the very least two filed in federal court docket in San Francisco by the Golick household and the household of Christine Loeber, 48, a director on the residence who additionally was killed. These fits are pending, in response to court docket information, and Foreman stated one other case towards the Napa County Sheriff’s Division is pending in an appellate court docket.

A 3rd sufferer was Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, 29, a medical psychologist who was seven months pregnant.

Officers have stated the March 9, 2018, capturing was carried out by Albert Cheung Wong, a 36-year-old former Sacramento resident and Army veteran who had served in Afghanistan and was affected by extreme psychological well being points and PTSD.

Wong grew to become a affected person at The Pathway Dwelling, a residential remedy heart on the state veterans residence the place Golick had been the medical director for seven months, in April 2017, court docket papers say.

About 1,000 getting older and disabled veterans dwell on the residence, which is ringed by wineries in scenic Napa County. It is thought of the crown jewel among the many state’s eight veterans properties. Wong didn’t dwell there, however acquired remedy from the Pathway program.

On Dec. 20, 2017, Wong was hospitalized with a 5150 psychological well being maintain on the San Francisco VA Medical Middle, “the place he expressed homicidal ideas towards decedent Jennifer Golick,” court docket papers say.

Wong additionally “reported possession of a number of firearms instantly previous to his hospitalization and the flexibility to entry firearms have been he to be launched from the hospital,” court docket papers say.

Regardless of that, he was launched from the psychiatric ward after two days.

California veteran purchased weapons after psych maintain

On Feb. 14, 2018, Wong bought a Stoeger double barrel shotgun from a Napa sporting items retailer, waited the 10-day ready interval and picked up the weapon on Feb. 25, in response to a California Freeway Patrol investigation.

Whereas he was ready, on Feb. 23, Wong purchased a JP Enterprises Ultralite .308 caliber assault model rifle at a Burlingame gun store, waited out the 10-day ready interval and picked it up March 5, 4 days earlier than the shootings.

Nobody reported Wong’s 5150 maintain or his threats whereas he was on the 5150 maintain to legislation enforcement, which might have prohibited him from buying weapons, court docket papers say.

“On the time, Wong expressed homicidal ideas towards particular people related to the Pathway Program, together with Jennifer Golick,” court docket papers say. “Wong additionally expressed suicidal intent with a plan to shoot and kill himself.

“To the Veterans Administration physicians and workers, Wong described a previous altercation with a therapist named ‘Jennifer’ and a more moderen altercation with a brand new therapist named ‘Christine,’ each of whom sparked homicidal ideas for him.”

A Napa County District Legal professional’s report discovered that Wong had been tossed out of the Pathway Dwelling on Feb. 20 “because of his refusals to adjust to program insurance policies and remedy plan.”

“Wong had expressed excessive anger and frustration towards the medical workers because of many prior disagreements and his current discharge from this system,” the report discovered.

Shootout as Napa gunman takes hostages

The CHP and D.A.’s investigation of the capturing concluded that, after looking out on-line for info on homicide and suicide, Wong arrived on the residence at 10:18 a.m. armed with each weapons, further ammunition and 20-round magazines and ear and eye safety.

Legislation enforcement responded to 911 calls of an “energetic shooter” and Napa sheriff’s Deputy Steven Lombardi confronted Wong as Wong took the ladies hostage in a gaggle room, partaking in a gunfight.

“Deputy Lombardi fired a complete of 13 rounds from his .223 caliber rifle at Wong in the course of the capturing sequence which lasted roughly 10 seconds,” in response to the D.A.’s report, which dominated the deputy’s use of pressure to be “cheap and lawful.”

“Wong fired a complete of twenty-two rounds from his .308 caliber rifle towards Deputy Lombardi in the course of the capturing sequence,” the report added.

Wong then shot the victims with the rifle and shot himself within the head with the .12-gauge shotgun, the CHP report stated. Lombardi survived the shootout. He retired in late 2020, in response to the Napa County Sheriff’s Workplace.

Foreman stated that by the point the deputy arrived the state of affairs had change into a hostage/barricade state of affairs and that the swimsuit towards the sheriff that’s pending stems from the declare that “the deputy shot blindly by the door” and sparked the killings of the victims.


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