>> A tragic end to an all day police standoff at home for war veterans in California. Three women and the suspected gunman who held them hostage found dead. The siege began Friday morning at the Veterans Home of California, a residence for around 1,000 US military veterans and the largest facility of its kind in the country.
It ended nearly eight hours later when officers gain access to a room where the attacker was holed up and found four bodies inside.>> This is a tragic piece of news, one that we were really hoping we wouldn't have to come before the public to give.>> A state senator told reporters that the gunman was a member of Pathway Home, a program housed at the complex for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
The hostages were believed to be staff who worked with him. The incident reportedly began when the suspect walked into a going away party for one of the facility's employees, carrying a rifle. Within four minutes of shots being fired, a Napa County sheriff's deputy had arrived at the scene.
He exchanged gunfire with the alleged attacker.>> We believe and we credit him with saving the lives of others in the area by eliminating the ability for the suspect to go out and find further victims.>> But despite repeated efforts, police negotiators were unable to make contact with the gunman following that first confrontation.
The siege came less than a month after a former student with an assault style rifle killed 17 people at a Florida high school. That massacre sparked a student led movement for new restrictions on gun sales to curb mass shootings that have occurred with frightening frequency in the US over the past few years.