Celebration of Life Service Honors Victims of Yountville Veterans Home Shooting

Family, friends, loved ones and community members gathered in Yountville Monday evening to remember the victims killed earlier this month during a daylong siege at the country's largest veterans home.

Executive Director Christine Loeber, 48; Clinical Director Dr. Jennifer Golick, 42; and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, 32, a clinical psychologist with the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System were all found dead on March 9 after Albert Wong, 36, slipped into a going-away party for two employees of The Pathway Home on the campus of the veterans home campus and held the three women hostage during an hours-long standoff. Wong was also found dead.

The families of two of the victims killed in Friday’s hostage standoff at a Yountville veterans home broke their silence Monday. Cheryl Hurd reports.

All three female victims were remembered as immensely talented women who cared deeply about veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Zach Skiles, a graduate of the program, spoke on behalf of hundreds of veterans touched by Pathway Home, some of whom were in the crowd.

"Every day, these women gave so much more than lip service," Skiles said during Monday's service, which took place at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at 100 California Drive in Yountville.

As a North Bay mental health program announced it is closing permanently after a combat veteran killed three workers, a candlelight vigil was held for the victims in Brentwood on Wednesday night. Cheryl Hurd reports.

At the end of the memorial service, family members were given an American flag to honor the three women. Mike Gonzales, speaking on behalf of all the families, spoke to the difficulty of coping with such tragedy.

"There’s no playbook for what we’re going through right now," Gonzales said. "We’re going to close ranks and hunker down and find a way to grieve."

The Pathway Home board of directors announced last week that it was suspending its operations indefinitely at the veterans home.

Wong, whose military records show he served in Afghanistan from April 2011 to March 2012, was enrolled in The Pathway Home's veteran treatment program until he was recently expelled. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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