At least three people were stabbed at the Encino Hospital Medical Center on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, including two nurses and a doctor, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Those three are said to be in critical condition. The attacker, a man, stabbed the doctor and the two nurses inside the hospital before barricading himself in a room inside the hospital building.
However, he was arrested and taken into custody after some time, according to a hospital representative. According to Nicholas Prange, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, all three victims were transferred to a local trauma center in critical condition.
The LAPD said that officers responded to a call at the Encino Hospital Medical Center on Ventura Boulevard shortly after 3:45 p.m on Friday afternoon. On reaching the scene they found chaos inside the hospital, with people rushing outside. The attack took place near the hospital's emergency room.
Without waiting much, the hospital declared an "internal disaster" and halted new patient admissions and visitor access. The attacker had by that time stabbed two nurses and a doctor and another person.
When cops reached, the attacker was still holed inside a room in the building. The LAPD alerted SWAT forces about the situation. It's unclear whether SWAT forces were called in.
The injured people have been taken to Northridge Hospital for treatment, with the condition of the three critical.
Around 5 pm, the attacker was finally arrested. Police have launched an investigation but are yet to reveal the identity of the attacker.
The motive behind the attack is still unknown and police haven't said anything if the attack was random. The attacker has been identified as an adult male but didn't reveal his name. The hospital identified the victims as an ED physician and two staff nurses.
"Three injured at Encino Hospital were two staff nurses and an ED physician who were all taken to the nearest trauma center. The hospital is currently on lockdown. We are continuing to monitor the situation and our thoughts and prayers are with all involved," the hospital said in a press release.
Footage from ABC 7 showed a victim being wheeled out on a stretcher, while scenes from KTLA News 5 showed another victim being taken out in a wheelchair. A section of Ventura Boulevard is still closed outside the hospital.
The LAPD said during a press conference held shortly after 6:30 p.m that the suspect had a criminal history prior to Friday's event. According to the LAPD, the suspect's criminal history includes resisting arrest and violence on an officer. The suspect has a "long" history with policemen across Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, police stated during the press conference.
The attack comes only days after a shooter opened fire at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Four persons were killed in the incident at the St. Francis Health System – Natalie Building, including the suspect's surgeon.