A 35-year-old man accused of stabbing a doctor and two nurses at Encino Hospital Medical Center was being held on $3 million bail on Saturday.
Ashkan Amirsoleymani, 35, was booked for three counts of attempted murder in the Friday afternoon attack.
At about 4 p.m. that day, Parham Saadat and a colleague at Encino Dental Smile, Dr. Faraz Farahnik, were walking to their cars across the street from the hospital to start an early weekend.
Suddenly, Saadat said in an interview Saturday, they saw a man wearing scrubs covered in blood. He’d been slashed in the stomach.
When they rushed over to help him, he told them there was a patient inside the hospital stabbing people.
Both men jumped into action.
They found a wheelchair for the victim and asked hospital staff for towels to apply pressure to his wound.
“He was cut pretty bad,” Saadat said. At one point, the victim said he was starting to feel like he was passing out.
Saadat, a dental hygienist, guesses it took another 10-15 minutes before an ambulance and police began to arrive. In that time, they moved the victim to a gurney when another staff member came out saying a doctor had been stabbed, too.
“There’s this big chaotic thing going on, everyone yelling and screaming and asking for help,” Saadat said. “I thought the only thing we can really do is hold the guy down or prevent him from stabbing anyone else so we just ran inside.”
When they entered the emergency room they saw a man, now identified as Amirsoleymani, standing with a knife and a lot of blood.
“He looked high. He just looked very anxious. He was sweating a lot. Half his shirt was drenched with sweat. He had a dog with him,” witness Benjamin Roman told NBC4.
But, Saadat said, “He was very calm, he was not running around like a madman.”
He said Amirsoleymani had told the initial victim he was in an accident and had a gun before taking out the knife and stabbing him.
Inside the hospital, Saadat saw that a doctor had been stabbed in the torso and another nurse in the leg.
All three victims were taken to Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Two patients were treated and released Saturday. The third patient is listed in fair condition, said Christina Zicklin, a spokesperson for the Northridge medical center.
Sadaat said he saw Amirsoleymani walk into what seemed like a storage room, and Saadat and Farahnik jumped to close the door on him. A security guard and another staff member helped them to keep the door closed and Amirsoleymani contained inside.
When police arrived, they told police where Amirsoleymani was still standing in the room. Everyone was cleared out of the emergency room and an hours-long standoff occurred before Amirsoleymani finally agreed to leave the room and was detained by police.
The motive for the attack is still unknown, but he initially presented himself as a patient, according to police.
A spokesperson for the LAPD could not confirm that Amirsoleymani had a dog or Saadat’s account of what happened, saying the investigation is ongoing.
Amirsoleymani has had multiple run-ins with LAPD officers before, including battery on a police officer and resisting arrest, police said Friday.
The stabbings came just days after another incident of violence at a medical facility. On Wednesday, a man with an AR-style rifle opened fire at a Tulsa medical office, killing four people, including three staff members.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Source: Orange County Register