California man ‘kills fellow Covid-19 patient with oxygen tank’

California man 'kills fellow Covid-19 patient with oxygen tank'
Source: BBC
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: A California man who allegedly used an oxygen tank to beat to death a fellow Covid-19 patient in his hospital bed last week has been charged with hate crime and murder.

According to Los Angeles police, Jesse Martinez, 37, became upset when the 82-year-old man sharing his hospital room started praying.

Mr Martinez then allegedly grabbed an oxygen tank and bludgeoned his fellow elderly Covid-19 patient.

The elderly victim died the following day.

The pair, who did not know each other, were receiving treatment for Covid-19 in a two-person room in Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster in southern California.

A statement from Los Angeles police said: “The suspect became upset when the victim started to pray. He then struck victim with an oxygen tank.”

Police said the suspect, 37-year-old Jesse Martinez, was arrested and charged with murder, elder abuse and a hate crime enhancement.

California hospitals are struggling to cope up with coronavirus patients after the state recorded one million new infections in just six weeks. More than two million cases have now been confirmed in the state since the pandemic began.

Hospitals in California are facing staff shortages and the state has put out an appeal for extra 3,000 medical workers from as far afield as Taiwan and Australia.

California’s health secretary Dr Mark Ghaly said on Monday that entire areas may run out of room even in their makeshift additional treatment centres “by the end of the month and early in January”.

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