LOS ANGELES (AP) – A man stabbed a doctor and two nurses inside a Southern California hospital emergency ward and remained inside a room for hours before police arrested him, authorities said.
The man walked into Encino Hospital Medical Centre in the San Fernando Valley shortly before 4pm on Friday, Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison said.
The man parked his car in the middle of a street and went to the emergency room, where he asked for treatment for anxiety before stabbing the doctor and nurses, authorities said.
Fire officials said three victims were taken to a trauma centre in critical condition. Police later said one was in critical condition and underwent surgery.
The three were later listed in stable condition at Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Centre.
The first floor of the Encino hospital and some nearby offices were evacuated, police said.
“We’ve moved patients out of the danger zone,” LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said at a news conference.
There was no evidence that the man knew the victims, Hamilt-on added.
The man remained inside a room in the hospital for about four hours as SWAT team members tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with him before he was finally arrested, police said.
He was taken to another hospital for treatment of self-inflicted injuries to his arms, authorities said. The man’s name wasn’t immediately released, but Hamilton said he had a lengthy criminal record, including two arrests last year for battery of a police officer and resisting arrest.
The attack comes only two days after a gunman killed four people and then himself at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The assailant got inside a building on the Saint Francis Hospital campus with little trouble, just hours after buying an AR-style rifle, authorities said.