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Law enforcement finds no sign of reported armed intruder at Veterans Home in CA

Police line tape (Dreamstime/TNS)

Local law enforcement came up empty Tuesday morning when officers from up and down the valley responded to a report of a possible shooter at the Veterans Home of California.

After three hours of searching the Holderman building and adjacent structures, the California Highway Patrol said there was no confirmation that any shots had been fired nor had a suspect been found.

Investigators are trying to better understand what triggered the 7:30 a.m. alarm and the massive law enforcement response that followed.

The original report said there was a woman with a shotgun in the vicinity of the Holderman building, prompting a response from California Highway Patrol, Napa County Sheriff, multiple local police departments, and SWAT units.

The Holderman building was searched from bottom to top by SWAT officers who could not find anyone matching the initial report or a firearm, first responders indicated.

While officers staged around the Holderman building, the Vets Home campus was closed to outsiders and Napa County issued a Nixle alert asking the public to avoid the area.

The incident attracted a swarm of Bay Area news media, including a TV helicopter that circled overhead.

The CHP said several officers would remain at the Veterans Home Tuesday afternoon out of “an abundance of caution,” but that the facility had resumed normal operations.

The state-operated Veterans Home is home to more than 700 military retirees and their spouses.

The nature of Tuesday’s initial report triggered memories for many Napa Valley residents of three years ago this month when a disgruntled Army veteran entered a recovery program on the Vets Home grounds and killed three staff members with The Pathway Home.

That incident similarly triggered a major law enforcement response, with officers trying for more than seven hours to make contact with the gunman in the Pathway building, only to discover that he had murdered three clinicians at the outset before taking his own life. One of the employees was pregnant, adding a fourth victim to the tragedy.

The Pathway killings prompted a reexamination of security at the Veterans Home, with the California Highway Patrol assigned primary responsibility. The Pathway Home ended up closing its residential program.

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(c) 2021 Napa Valley Register

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