The spouse and 9-year-old daughter of Jennifer Golick, who was killed March 9, 2018 in a shooting at the Veterans Home, are suing the state and county for wrongful death.
Attorneys for Marc Golick and his daughter claim that the state Department of Veterans Affairs, Napa County, Napa County Sheriff's Office and Deputy Steve Lombardi — who was the first officer to respond to the active shooter call — could have prevented her death.
Golick, 42, was clinical director of The Pathway Home, a now-shuttered private treatment facility that was based at the Veterans Home, dedicated to serving Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The state knew that two weeks prior to the shooting, the gunman came onto the campus, armed, and his weapons were confiscated, the lawsuit says. He had threatened Golick's life, the suit says, and the lives of fellow victims Christine Loeber, 48, and Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, 32, who was 26 weeks pregnant at the time of the shooting.
"The plaintiffs have been deprived of a loving mother and wife," the lawsuit says.
The county, state and Napa County Sheriff's Office declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
Gunman Albert Cheung Wong, 36, let himself into the building the night before the shooting, propped open a door, and returned the next morning. He dressed in tactical gear, entered the building with a shotgun and a rifle, and took the three women hostage during a staff goodbye party.
He exchanged fire through a door with the deputy who arrived on the scene, then killed the women and himself.
Previous reports said that Wong was dismissed from the program because he failed to comply with his treatment plan. The lawsuit says he was, in fact, dismissed from Pathway because he came onto the campus armed and made threats against the women.
The lawsuit referenced a Sacramento Bee report that said the California Highway Patrol, which oversees the campus because it is a state property, determined in a site assessment that the campus should have a security checkpoint, front gate, fencing, working locks and intercoms.
CHP has previously denied the Register's public records request for this report, claiming exemptions that apply to investigatory records of law enforcement agencies, and to documents that assess an agency's vulnerability to terrorist attacks or criminal acts.
The state veterans department, known as CalVet, should have had security cameras, silent alarm distress signals, working door locks and a surveillance system that alerted someone to the gunman's entry, the lawsuit says. There were too many doors to the building that housed the Pathway Home for a facility dedicated to treating veterans with PTSD, the lawsuit said.
The state knew that veterans on campus may have access to weapons, struggle to control their impulses, and be physically aggressive and violent, according to the suit.
"Nothing was in place to stop Wong along the way," the lawsuit said.
The Napa County Sheriff's Office, which was responsible for law enforcement services to the campus, had also recognized the possibility of an active shooter at the Veterans Home, the lawsuit said. It referenced a Register article about an active shooter training conducted by the FBI for the Napa County Sheriff's Office, two months earlier.
The Sheriff's Department and Deputy Lombardi failed to warn others of Wong's ejection from the property, the lawsuit says. The suit says they failed to report the hostage situation to the dispatcher, to wait for backup and the negotiation team, to deescalate the situation and to kill Wong.
Attorneys also took issue with the fact that Lombardi shot through a closed door at Wong.
The Napa County District Attorney's Office said in November that Lombardi's actions were justified and it would not press charges against the deputy.
Attorneys representing the families of the other two women killed in the shooting have said previously in legal documents that they plan to sue for wrongful death.