Los Angeles, CA – A knife-wielding attacker pretending to be a patient seeking treatment viciously stabbed two nurses and a doctor inside the Encino Hospital Medical Center on Friday afternoon, according to police.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Jeff Lee said the horrific attack occurred shortly before 4 p.m. on June 3, USA Today reported.
The suspect, later identified as 35-year-old Ashkan Amirsoleymani, allegedly entered the hospital and said he had been involved in a car wreck and needed treatment, according to KTLA.
Witness Parham Saadat said he was leaving work at a nearby dental office when he spotted a bloodied man wearing medical scrubs outside the hospital across the street, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Saadat and his coworker, Faraz Farahnik, ran to help the man, who immediately told them there was an attack underway inside the hospital.
“He tells us, ‘There’s somebody inside, a patient who stabbed me,’” Saadat told the Los Angeles Times. “‘And he’s stabbing other people inside.’”
The wounded nurse told them the suspect claimed to have a gun and said the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed him with it, according to Saadat.
“His guts were out,” Saadat told the Los Angeles Times. “He had a pretty bad slash.”
Saadat and Farahnik called an ambulance and helped load the victim onto a gurney just before another witness ran out of the hospital begging for help for a doctor who had also been stabbed, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The two Good Samaritans ran into the building and found a chaotic scene.
“It was a bloodbath,” Saadat told the Los Angeles Times. “There was blood all over the floor, blood in the rooms, blood on the gurney the doctor was laying on…”
That’s when he spotted the suspect calmly pacing around with a three-to-four-inch knife gripped in his hand, he said.
Ultrasound technician Benjamin Roman told KNBC that the suspect “looked high” and seemed “very anxious.”
“He was sweating a lot,” Roman added. “Half his shirt was drenched with sweat.”
When Amirsoleymani stepped into a small room a moment later, Saadat said he seized the opportunity to run up and close the door to the room, blocking the suspect inside.
“A nurse came and helped me hold the door, and then a security guard came,” Saadat told the Los Angeles Times. “We asked them to hold the door closed.”
He said the suspect didn’t try to force his way out, and that he simply stood over a sink inside the room.
“The guy wasn’t even reacting,” Saadat recalled. “He was just standing in the room, his back toward the window of the door. I’m not really sure what he was doing. But it was definitely pretty creepy.”
“He just very calmly turned his face and looked at me through the window, then turned his head back around,” he added. “No reaction.”
With the suspect secured, Farahnik and Saadat went into the next room and found the injured doctor, who was lying down wearing blood-soaked scrubs, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Good Samaritans used towels to apply pressure to a wound beneath her ribcage, Saadat said.
They found a third victim with a stab wound to the leg sitting in a wheelchair nearby.
As police arrived at the scene, witnesses directed them to the room where Amirsoleymani was located and helped carry the wounded victims out of the hospital to an ambulance, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A SWAT team entered the building and wound up in a lengthy standoff with the suspect before ultimately taking him into custody.
Amirsoleymani had apparent self-inflicted wounds on his arms and was taken to a hospital for treatment before he was booked into jail on three counts of attempted murder, the Los Angeles Times reported.
His bond has been set at $3 million.
Investigators said they did not find any evidence to corroborate Amirsoleymani’s claim that he had been involved in a car crash, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The LAPD said it had dealt with the suspect in the past, to include two incidents in which he was arrested for battery on an officer and resisting arrest.
The motive for the attack is unclear, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said on Friday.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Nicholas Prange said the three victims were all rushed to a local trauma center in critical condition, USA Today reported.
Two of the victims have since been released from the hospital, while the third has been upgraded to stable condition, according to KTLA.