A military veteran who was kicked out of the PTSD treatment program at a California veterans’ home came back on Friday, March 9, and held three women hostage for several hours before all four were found dead after a standoff lasting almost eight hours.
The Napa County Sheriff and Coroner’s office identified the victims as Jennifer Golick, age 42; Jennifer Gonzales, age 29; and Christine Loeber, age 48. All three women were Pathway Home employees, and all three worked in the clinical psychiatric treatment section of the facility. The shooter was identified as Albert Wong, age 36, of Sacramento. According to a New York Daily News report, the shooter had been the patient of these three ladies.
Wong was a decorated veteran who served in Afghanistan for a year between 2011 and 2012. He held several service awards, including one for expert rifle marksmanship.
This is an incredibly tragic story, and it calls attention to an issue that was raised in the horrific shooting in a high school in Parkland, Florida on February 14 of this year. Wong was asked to leave a PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) program earlier this week, according to reports from KGO channel 7 in San Francisco. The cause for this expulsion is as yet unknown, but speculatively it is not unreasonable to surmise that the man was expelled for unacceptable behavior of some type.
In many treatment centers for addiction and other serious matters, this is a commonly taken action when a patient is behaving in some manner which, sadly, actually is a sign that the person out of control and needs more help than he or she is being given. The failure of the mental health system in matters like this leads to such people leaving in worse shape and hence, more likely to do something really horrible to themselves or others.
Nikolas Cruz had passed through “the system” in much the same way.
While the politically minded will try to spin this story in some way that regards controlling guns, this is again a misdirected idea. If Wong was doing something crazy, he needed more intense treatment. If he was breaking the law, he needed to be incarcerated. Why he was expelled from this PTSD program remains as yet unknown, and even my own speculation may not apply to him. We wait for more information to see.
We at The Duran and its sister sites mourn those lost and offer our condolences and prayers to the loved ones also affected by this awful tragedy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.