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Gunman, 3 Hostages Found Dead Following Daylong Standoff At America's Largest Veterans' Home
A gunman and three hostages were found dead on Friday night after a daylong standoff with police at a Northern California veterans' home, law enforcement officials said.
The male suspect, armed with a rifle, exchanged fire with a sheriff's deputy and kept the three female hostages detained in a room at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville throughout the afternoon.
The suspect and three female hostages were found dead after officials made entry into the room, shortly before 6:00 p.m. local time, according to California Highway Patrol assistant chief Chris Childs.
"This is a tragic piece of news, one that we were really hoping we wouldn't have to come before the public to give," Childs said.
The husband of one of the workers at the home told the Associated Press that the gunman took the hostages after he slipped into an employee going-away party in the building, detained certain people, and allowed others to leave.
"There was a going-away party for a couple of the staff who were leaving today. Today was their last day. They were having cake and toasting and apparently he just walked in with this rifle," Larry Kamer, a former employee, said.
Local media outlets reported that the gunman was a veteran and a former member of The Pathway Home program, which says on its website that it helps veterans "cope with the effects of their deployment."
The suspect was believed to be 36 years old and was discharged from the treatment program two weeks ago, according to The Napa Valley Register. The gunman was asked to leave the program after he broke certain rules, NBC Bay Area reported.
The initial reports of an active shooter at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville came in around 10:30 a.m., local time, a spokeswoman for the department told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"We are deeply saddened and affected by the tragic outcome of the hostage situation at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville and extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones involved," Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin said on Twitter. "We ask for patience as we continue to monitor emerging details."
Authorities set up a hotline at (707) 948-3331 for people to call for information on their loved ones at the veterans' home.
The facility is the largest veterans' home in the U.S., housing roughly 1,000 elderly or disabled veterans and their spouses, according to its website. The program treats Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and helps them reintegrate back to civilian life, according to KRON-4 News and The Washington Post.
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Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.
President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."