Officers received a call for an assault with a deadly weapon from the Mission Community Hospital around 6:50 p.m. Monday, LAPD officials said. When they arrived at the hospital, they found a 49-year-old nurse suffering from stab wounds.
LAPD investigators said the nurse was coming into work to begin his overnight shift when he crossed paths with a stranger who was dressed in black clothing. The suspect suddenly took out a knife and stabbed the nurse in the alleged unprovoked attack. As the suspect removed the knife from the victim’s neck, he also slashed the nurse’s right hand.
Investigators do not believe any words were exchanged between the victim and the suspect before the attack.
Hospital workers tended to the victim while security officers were told to chase the suspect, but he was able to get away and was last seen running down Willis Avenue.
The nurse was rushed to a nearby trauma center where he continues to fight for survival. Even with the severity of his injuries, officials said he is expected to make a full recovery. He was last listed in stable condition, according to the hospital.
The hospital was temporarily placed on lockdown while officers searched for the suspect. LAPD said the suspect may be experiencing homelessness and acted alone.
Police say they're searching for a Hispanic man in his 40s or 50s with a mustache and salt and pepper beard. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, shirt and backpack.
Mission Community Hospital has since released a statement in response to the incident, saying in part it is cooperating with the LAPD and has increased the security and police presence on campus.
"The hospital will continue taking such measures to maintain a safe environment campus-wide while still providing health care services to the community in which it serves," the statement read.