An 82-year-old COVID-19 patient was beaten to death with an oxygen tank inside a California hospital by another man who was also being treated for the virus, officials said.
The violent death inside the two-person room at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California, occurred on December 17, when the 82-year-old unidentified man started praying and another patient, 37-year-old Jesse Martinez, became angry. Los Angeles County sheriff officials said Martinez used an oxygen tank to attack the victim.
Both men were admitted to the hospital in Lancaster for treatment of COVID-19, but they did not know each other, officials added.
The victim was pronounced dead at 10:20 the next day.
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris told the Los Angeles Times in a statement that he was “shocked” by the murder.
“These families were already experiencing difficulties and now that – it doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Martinez was charged with a murder charge, as well as improvements in the sentence for a hate crime and abuse of the elderly, officials said on Wednesday.
Records show that Martinez was removed from the hospital after the attack and held in county jail, where he is being held in place of a $ 1 million bail.