LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — One person died at UMC and another was injured after police say a man pulled out a knife and stabbed them. It happened in the psychiatric section of the hospital early Thursday morning.
According to police, the man who stabbed the two people was also a patient. He left his room, stabbed and killed a man in another room, and then stabbed another in the hallway.
Questions are being asked as to hold this unfolded inside the hospital.
Early Thursday morning, a homicide investigation was underway at UMC. Police said that after the patient stabbed two other people inside the psychiatric area, he was found back in his room and taken into custody. The suspect was a male in his 40s.
Dr. Sid Khurana from Nevada Mental Health said that patients in the psychiatric area of the hospital have been seeking out where to go for care and are assessed.
“A lot of patients go to the UMC emergency room to get medical clearance to make sure there is nothing else medically going on before they get admitted to a psychiatric unit,” said retired police officer David Kohlmeier. Kohlmeier had worked with Henderson and New York City departments.
As of Thursday afternoon, it has not been determined how the man got the knife into the hospital or where it came from.
“I have been through the psychiatric ward as a police officer,” Kohlmeier told 8 News Now, “A lot of the time, there is a certain protocol where you can’t even carry your firearm. There is normally security there and correctional officers as well, depending on the situation and depending on the floor of the hospital.”
Kohlmeier had questions about how this all happened.
“The question is how did the person get the knife? Did it come in in general? Did they do a good enough search in general before that, before that person entered into that specific psychiatric ward? They have to do good searches.”
He said that he believes medical and mental health facilities will be paying close attention to this investigation.
“I am sure from this incident that everybody in the valley will change their protocols depending on how they found out how this knife wound up to this person who is mentally unstable inside that ward.”
UMC CEO Mason Van Houweling released a statement that expressed support and the need for mental health services in the county. He also said that many mentally ill patients are sent to UMC when they belong at facilities better suited to treating their needs.
The hospital remained open despite the incident.