According to USA Today’s local time on the 23rd, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday that a COVID-19 patient in a California hospital attacked and killed his roommate with oxygen tanks because he was “very upset” when the victim began to pray.
Jesse Martinez, 37, was arrested on suspicion of sexual hate crimes, murder and elder abuse, the sheriff’s office said at a press conference.
The victim was an 82-year-old Latino man who was sharing a double room with Martinez at a hospital in North Los Angeles County.
Both were treated for COVID-19 and did not know each other before they were admitted to the ward, according to the department.
The statement said: “When the victim began to pray, the suspect became uneasy.
Then he attacked the victim with an oxygen tank. The victim died the next day from his wounds.”
Martinez will appear in court on December 28 and his bail is $1 million, police said.
USA Today noted that California is facing “darkest days”: the surge in coronavirus cases has pushed hospital staff to the brink of collapse.
Los Angeles County has become a hotbed of COVID-19 infection.
Public health authorities reported Wednesday that the county had 145 deaths that same day
the highest one-day death toll in the area since the outbreak began.
California became the first state in the U.S. to surpass 2 million coronavirus cases
Wednesday night, according to Johns Hopkins University.