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LOS ANGELES — A man stabbed a doctor and two nurses inside a Southern California hospital Friday before barricading himself inside the facility, authorities said. He remained inside a room for hours before police arrested him.
The Los Angeles Police Department got a call around 3:50 p.m. about a possible stabbing at Encino Hospital Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley, Officer Jeff Lee told USA TODAY.
The man had 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.
All three victims were transported to a local trauma center in critical condition, Nicholas Prange, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, told USA TODAY.
All three were later listed in stable condition at Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Center, the Associated Press reported.
Helicopter footage from taken by local TV stations showed one injured employee in blue medical scrubs being wheeled out of the hospital on a stretcher. The front of the hospital was blocked with yellow caution tape and about a dozen emergency vehicles.
The man remained inside a room in the hospital for about four hours as SWAT team members tried to 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 just 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.
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The man killed his surgeon, whom he blamed for his continuing pain following a recent back operation, and three other people.
The violence in medical settings is something researchers have warned about in recent years: “The risk of workplace violence is a serious occupational hazard for nurses and other health care workers,” a recent study by National Nurses United found. “Countless acts of assault, battery, aggression, and threats of violence that routinely take place in health care settings demonstrate a frightening trend of increasing violence faced by health care workers throughout the country.”
Contributing: Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY; Associated Press