Patient allegedly killed by roommate
EDMONTON — A 34-year-old psychiatric patient about to be discharged from the Royal Alexandra Hospital has allegedly stabbed his hospital roommate to death in the middle of the night.
Nursing staff checked in on the patient at 3:30 a.m. Monday when he appeared to be asleep, but moments later he reportedly attacked Dwayne Roger Roy, 57, who shared a room at the mental facility with him for the past two weeks.
While police have not confirmed the details of the gruesome attack, a source intimately familiar with the psych ward told Metro that the victim suffered multiple stab wounds — several directly through his head and neck.
The hospital source said staff members are in shock over the bloody scene, a rare murder in a health region that hasn’t reported a homicide in any of its facilities since a 1994 attack at the Alberta Hospital.
“This is clearly a situation that we’re not used to dealing with,” said Dr. P.J. White, regional director of mental health, who looked visibly shaken over the incident.
A full-scale internal investigation into what led up to the incident has been launched, he said, and the findings will be made public. City police have the accused in custody and charges are pending.
Both patients were regularly assessed for risk to themselves and others, but they showed no history of violence or animosity towards each other, White said.
“When you do multiple assessments and there is no evidence, ultimately, one cannot absolutely totally predict when something is going to happen,” he said. “If we could do that, it would be a miracle.”
The 30-person unit had 20 patients under care at the time of the incident, with all of them considered a low risk to security. There was no list of banned items like sharp objects or kitchen utensils — unlike secure facilities for high-risk mental patients.
Nancy Fraser, a senior operating officer for mental health, said there is a security guard stationed at the ward 24 hours a day, but security won’t be increased in light of the tragic incident.
“We’re walking a balance between taking into account that this is a unique, serious incident, and yet trying to also help maintain some sense of normalcy since that is what will help people through this incident,” she said.