A 74-year-old patient at a Washington, D.C. hospital who died in September following a mysterious scuffle with security guards had his death ruled a homicide on Monday.
James E. McBride sustained a broken vertebra near the base of his neck during the fracas with MedStar Washington Hospital Center guards on Sept. 29. He died two days later.
According to autopsy results released by the D.C. medical examiner this week, McBride’s cause of death was “blunt force injuries of neck, with cervical spinal cord transection and vertebral artery compression,” FOX5 reported.
No charges have been announced yet in the case; however, D.C. police officials and the U.S. attorney’s office in the District continue to investigate, according to The Washington Post.
“The September 2015 incident was devastating to all of us at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and our hearts continue to go out to the patient’s family,” the facility said in a statement obtained by FOX5.
The episode that ultimately resulted in McBride’s death started around 5 p.m. on Sept. 29 when McBride left the hospital while wearing nothing but his gown. MedStar officials have yet to say why McBride was at the hospital and McBride’s family has been relatively quiet since the incident.
A nurse and security guard located him just across the street, walked him back to the hospital entrance and turned him over to two security guards – ages 42 and 29 – who were also special police officers. That designation gave the security guards the ability to carry firearms and arrest people on the hospital campus, according to The Post. The security guards, whose names have not been released, no longer work at the hospital.
While the next few minutes are somewhat ambiguous, a police report viewed by The Post said McBride “became non-compliant and resisted and a struggle ensued.” He was “taken to the ground” by two people while a third “utilized hand controls to restrain” him.
The security guards were armed, but did not use weapons during the incident, Dr. Arthur St. Andre said during an October news conference.
“[McBride] was resuscitated there at the scene by his nurse and by a rapid response team,” St. Andre said. “He was brought to our emergency room where resuscitation continued and that followed up in our intensive care unit, where he received excellent care.”