Friday’s slaying of a patient at Western State Hospital, allegedly at the hands of a fellow patient, was called a “tragic unexpected incident” by the hospital’s CEO, Jess Jamieson.
“A tragic death at our facility is extremely rare and we will do everything possible to prevent a similar occurrence,” Jamieson said in a statement.
The slain patient, 29-year-old Paul Montefusco, died ater being stabbed in the ear with a pencil or pen, according to Lakewood police. A 40-year-old patient was arrested in connection with the slaying.
Staff at the state psychiatric hospital discovered Montefusco dead in another patient’s room Friday afternoon and called police, according to a news release. Staff found the resident of the room hiding in another room nearby.
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He has been booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of murder. The name of the suspect has not been released.
“Western State Hospital holds the safety of our patients, employees and the community as its highest priority,” Jamieson said. “Almost twenty years have passed since something similar occurred at the State’s largest psychiatric hospital.”