As Country Focuses on Guns, Multiple People Stabbed at Medical Facility

Mass Stabbing Hosptital California Gun Control Debate
Two nurses and a doctor were injured in a mass stabbing at a hospital in California on Friday. Above, police vehicles and tape reading "crime scene do not cross" are displayed in this undated file photo. JaysonPhotography/Getty

As the nation focused on mass shootings and gun violence, at least three people were injured during a mass stabbing inside a California hospital.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) told Newsweek that officers responded to a stabbing at Encino Hospital Medical Center at about 3:50 p.m. local time, with multiple victims having suffered "some type of injury." The incident came two days after a mass shooting at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, left five people dead and 10 days after 19 children and two adults were killed during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Hospital spokesperson Elizabeth Nikels told Newsweek that there were at least three injuries, including "two staff nurses and one physician" who were taken to "a local trauma center." Police later confirmed the hospital's account of those injured and that they were "receiving medical treatment at this time." The hospital and police both said the incident remained active, with the hospital on "lockdown" as of early Friday evening.

Officers made contact with the suspect following the stabbing, police said, before he "barricaded himself" inside the hospital. No other details about the alleged assailant or the type of weapon used were available at the time of publication. Police said they hoped to "bring this to a peaceful resolution" with the aid of the LAPD SWAT team, which was present at the hospital. The stabbing victims were said to be "in unknown condition."

Although Friday's incident involved a mass stabbing, the nation has recently been far more focused on mass shootings. Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have been debating proposals for new gun control measures, while President Joe Biden's Thursday night speech on gun violence drew both praise from gun control advocates and heavy criticism from those opposed to restrictions, including some conservatives who called for him to be impeached because of the speech.

While some gun rights advocates have suggested that stricter gun control could lead to more mass stabbings, they are relatively rare and generally less likely to result in fatalities than gun attacks.

A Statista analysis of 2020 U.S. homicide victims found that 14,892 had been killed with handguns or "other firearms," compared to 1,739 killed by "knives or cutting instruments."

A Newsweek review of a period less than 10 hours on Thursday, when lawmakers debated gun control during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, found that at least 10 people were killed among 82 shooting incidents during the time of the hearing alone.