Both Mr. Kamer and John F. Dunbar, the mayor of Yountville and a Pathway board member, declined to give further details on Mr. Wong, or why he left the home.
“He was separated from the program about two weeks ago,” Mr. Kamer said. “I don’t feel comfortable telling more about the circumstances.”
Mr. Dunbar described the gunman as “one of our heroes who clearly had demons that resulted in the terrible tragedy that we have experienced here.”
It is still unclear what those demons were. Mr. Wong served as an Army specialist in the infantry. He joined the Army Reserve straight out of high school in 1998, for one enlistment that ended in 2002. He joined the active-duty Army in 2010 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 for a year. Army records show that during that time he was exposed to combat and was also honored for good conduct. He was discharged in 2013, well short of the four years that make up a typical enlistment. The Army declined to comment on the reason for his discharge.
The Pathway Home, a nonprofit that rents a building in the state-run Veterans Home of California-Yountville, was created a decade ago to help former veterans who “had reached a state of crisis,” according to Mr. Kamer.
Many residents have only recently returned from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. They sleep in the beige building that overlooks the central courtyard of the veterans complex, which dates to 1884 and rambles along the hillside like a college campus.
The aim of the Pathway program is to counsel and integrate the veterans into civilian life with the help of the tight-knit community of therapists and staff members. Ms. Loeber, the head of the program, sometimes slept in her office, said Mr. Dunbar, the mayor.
“Parts of the program were going fishing, going bowling, going out in the community,” Mr. Dunbar told reporters at a news briefing on Saturday. “In some cases, our warriors needed to be reintegrated into society. That includes being in crowded rooms, in confined spaces, areas where there were loud noises.”
Craig Bryan, a psychologist at the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah, said that veterans with post-traumatic stress can become violent and that therapists were often trained in escalation. But they can be caught in a Catch-22, he said, in which continuing treatment with an increasingly aggressive patient is potentially harmful to both parties, but so is ending treatment.
“I’ve certainly been afraid of being collateral damage at times,” Mr. Bryan said.
The Pathway program is distinct from the Veterans Home, which houses around 900 people, most of them elderly and veterans of earlier wars — Vietnam, Korea and even World War II.
“It’s great here,” said Bob Abbott, 75, a retired painter who served in the Mekong Delta in 1969 and who has lived on the campus for the last three years.
Veterans can while away days on the golf course next door. They roll strikes at the bowling alley, trim geraniums in their wine-barrel planters, and visit nearby restaurants and wineries.
But on Friday, idyllic routines were disrupted by a sound that some residents quickly recognized from their past lives: an air siren.
The staff told residents, wrongly, that a shooting had occurred in the dining hall, which is next to the Pathway building, and ordered them to lock themselves in their buildings, Mr. Abbott said.
“It was a complete shock,” he said. “We’ve never had anything like that before.”
Austin Blake, a 59-year-old former tank operator for the Army, said he sometimes ran into the men who attended the Pathway program and was struck by how young they looked.
“I thought, ‘You kids don’t look like veterans, you look like high school students looking for a prom date,’” he said.
Mr. Blake, who is a representative on the Allied Council, a governing body at the veterans home, said veterans were accustomed to death in Yountville, but usually those from natural causes.
The Pathway staff met on Saturday to decide the future course of the organization and how to memorialize their dead colleagues.
“They lived their lies selflessly,” Mr. Dunbar said. “Each of them brought energy, vitality, personality to their jobs.”
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