Posted on: June 23, 2022, 05:40h.
Last updated on: June 23, 2022, 05:49h.
Two psychiatric patients were stabbed at Las Vegas’ University Medical Center (UMC) emergency department by a third patient early Thursday. One victim passed away.
The other victim was injured and is expected to survive. The assailant had been in a room at the hospital. He walked to the room of a neighboring patient.
The 29-year-old victim in that room was knifed. He was wearing “soft restraints” when the stabbing took place, authorities said.
The second patient, who is 24, was stabbed by the suspect while on a gurney that was in a hospital hallway. He then ran through exit doors to safety.
The incident took place at about 1:50 am. The suspect, who is in his 40s, was apprehended.
Las Vegas corrections officers were at the hospital on an unrelated case. They responded to the stabbings.
They heard the commotion and heard the call that there was a person with a knife stabbing somebody inside the hospital. They quickly responded,” Metro Lt. Jason Johansson said in statement quoted by KLAS, a local TV station.
“They located the suspect in his room. They were able to take him into custody without incident.”
It is unknown how the suspect was able to possess a knife while in a dedicated psychiatric area in the hospital, KSNV, another local TV station, reported.
There was some kind of dispute between the suspect and first victim before the stabbing. Police did not release their identities.
Later, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers described the double stabbing as an “isolated incident,” KTNV, a local TV station, reported. LVMPD homicide detectives were investigating the stabbing later on Thursday. All areas of UMC remain open.
UMC Is Acute Care Hospital
UMC is a large hospital in Las Vegas. Victims of violent crimes along the Las Vegas Strip and those who suffer injuries in downtown Las Vegas are often taken there for treatment.
For instance, the security guard critically wounded last week at Bonanza Gift Shop was hospitalized in an UMC intensive care unit. He is identified as Adolfo Rivera. UMC doctors performed surgery on Rivera.
Also, the two victims who were shot recently at the Fremont Street Experience were both taken to UMC. One victim passed away at the hospital soon after arriving. The second victim underwent treatment.
More Mental Health Services Needed
In a statement released on Thursday, UMC CEO Mason Van Houweling called the stabbings a “tragic incident.”
Our entire team feels the weight of this tragedy, and words cannot express the profound sympathy we feel for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one following this senseless act of violence,” he said.
Nationally, there has been a recent wave of violence. A similar experience has been seen in Southern Nevada, Van Houweling added.
Specifically, the Southern Nevada region has an “urgent need” for additional mental health services, he said. These include psychiatric emergency rooms, as well as crisis stabilization and outpatient mental health services.
Often, patients with behavioral issues are sent to acute care hospitals like UMC.
In many cases, acute care hospitals are not the correct setting for behavioral health patients,” Van Houweling said. “Unfortunately, every hospital in Southern Nevada faces similar challenges, as we all care for a growing number of patients with acute mental health needs.”
Casino.org reached out to spokespeople from Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts to see if their Las Vegas properties added security as a precaution in light of the stabbings. Neither company responded with a statement.
Most Mental Health Patients Not Dangerous
In addition, the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), a national organization supporting those with emotional health issues, has pointed out that most individuals with serious mental illness are not dangerous.
“No evidence suggests that people with serious mental illness receiving effective treatment are more dangerous than individuals in the general population,” the TAC said in an online statement.
That being said, a small number of individuals with serious mental illnesses commit acts of violence,” TAC added. “Individuals who are not being treated commit almost all of these acts.”