Six months later, loved ones remember three clinicians killed in Yountville shooting

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Six months after a gunman killed three women at a treatment center for veterans in Yountville, there are still many unanswered questions about what led up to the violence.  This week, the California Highway Patrol finished its investigation into the March 9th attack at the Pathway Home.  

The CHP says the case has now been turned over to the Napa County District Attorney’s Office for review.  A CHP spokesperson would not comment on the specific findings of the investigation or any recommendations that were made.  The facility has closed permanently.     

Authorities say a former Pathway Home patient stormed the building, taking hostages before killing three clinicians. The victims were Pathway’s executive director Christine Loeber, clinical director Jennifer Golick and clinical psychologist Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba who was six months pregnant.

The Pathway Home was a live-in treatment facility that served ‘Post-9/11’ veterans suffering from PTSD.  

“We lost three amazing women that day,” said John Dunbar, the Mayor of Yountville who also sits on the Pathway Home’s board of directors.  “They were friends and colleagues.  We all feel it very personally every day.” 

The Pathway Home leased a two story building on the grounds of the Yountville Home for Veterans but the facility never reopened after the shooting, and the organization terminated its lease at the end of August.  Dunbar, who gave us a tour of the empty building, said there was no way the program could continue in the same space that was the setting for such a horrific act.  “It's not really comfortable to be in here to be honest.  You can imagine that was part of the reason for our decision not to continue as its own non-profit program.” 

After the shooting, the “Three Brave Women” fund was established and has distributed more than $90,000 to the families of Loeber, Golick and Gonzales Shushereba. And while there is a possibility the Pathway Home could dissolve as a non-profit in the future, the organization is honoring the victims by passing along it’s unique program to other local veteran’s facilities.  The Pathway organization is also donating all of its furniture and supplies to other treatment centers.  

“That's our mission now, is to make sure other communities pick up that mantle and take it forward,” said Dunbar.  “We are now focusing our attention on providing resources.  Not only the physical resources of the building but the learning we have over 10 years, giving that to anyone who is ready to take up that charge and follow that mission to serving our veterans that need our help.”  

The CHP has not said how Army veteran Albert Wong was able to get inside the Pathway Home, where he opened fire on the victims inside a second floor meeting room.  It was a secured facility, with doors that were supposed to remain locked.  Wong, a former patient who took his own life that day, had been removed from the program shortly before the shooting.  

Marc Golick, Jennifer Golick’s husband, believes the Pathway Home and the Yountville Home for Veterans were “negligent.”  In a statement Golick wrote: “Why was the gunman allowed to enter through an unlocked door into an advertised locked down facility? If Pathway Home is claiming to shut down why are they also claiming to continue their work? Pathway Home is an extremely irresponsible organization who have no business in the professional mental health industry or any relation to it.”  

Dunbar said he’s not willing to speculate about how the gunman got inside the building, opting to wait until the final investigative report is made public.  “We had significant security measures,” said Dunbar.  “Some of them required by the certification of having the program.  I don’t see any way it could have been prevented.”