HONOLULU (KHON2) — A community is in shock after a deadly stabbing at the Hawaii State Hospital, especially upon learning the suspect was out in the community before the incident.
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There have been escapees from the State Hospital before, but hearing about a deadly stabbing within the hospital campus that left a nurse dead is rare and distressing news for area residents.
Lynley Honbo was on her afternoon walk when she learned about the deadly attack.
“That is really, really sad and scary,” Honbo said. “The hospital needs to make their security a little bit better, I mean, it’s easy to get lax right and everything but hopefully they’ll really just make sure that whoever comes back in is padded down.”
The suspect lived in a facility known as the State Operated Specialized Residential Program (SOSRP), it’s on the hospital campus and it’s designed as transitional care from the hospital into society.
The hospital administrator Dr. Kenneth Luke said residents can earn the privilege to enter and leave, the suspect had left the campus on Monday before the apparent stabbing.
Luke said, “The patient was stable, as I had said, he had earned that right to go off campus and had actually done so yesterday afternoon, had gone off campus and come back.”
Luke said 21 residents were at the transitional home at the time of the attack, the facility was considered fully staffed Monday night.
And despite the campus having 17 security guards on duty at any given time, no security is assigned to the specialized residential program.
Luke said, “They are not assigned to any of the group homes and they are not assigned to the SOSRP that we’ve been talking about.”
The Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Chair Mo Radke plans on bringing up the incident as part of their Thursday meeting discussion.
Radke said, “I’m definitely interested in hearing about how that happened and what the circumstances are, and I hope it’s not something that is ‘we’re still under investigation’.”
Luke said they have increased staffing and they are revising safety protocol at the hospital campus.