MedStar Washington patient death ruled homicide: 5 things to know

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A 74-year-old patient at MedStar Washington Hospital Center died after an incident with security guards last fall. This week, the death was ruled a homicide, according to the Washington Post.

Here are five things to know about the case and the recent development.

1. On Sept. 29, 2015, James E. McBride left the Washington, D.C.-based hospital without signing discharge papers. Hospital officials said a nurse and security guard found Mr. McBride across the street from the hospital, returned him to the hospital and then handed him over to two security guards. According to a police report, the patient and guards were outside the hospital when Mr. McBride "became non-compliant and resisted and a struggle ensued." Mr. McBride was "taken to the ground" by two of the people, and a third "utilized hand controls to restrain" him, according to the Post. Two days later, he died.

2. On Monday, the District of Columbia's medical examiner determined Mr. McBride's cause of death was "blunt force injuries" of the neck and ruled the death a homicide.

3. The guards at the hospital are licensed through the D.C. police. The two guards involved in the incident have not been employed by the hospital since late November.

4. No charges have been filed in the case, according to the Post, but there is an ongoing investigation.

5. In a statement, MedStar said Mr. McBride's death "was devastating to all of us at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and our hearts continue to go out to the patient's family." MedStar said it has cooperated with authorities, enhanced the training of care teams and security officers and created a multi-disciplinary team to respond to high-risk situations since the incident occurred.

Editor's note: This article was updated to include the two guards' current employment status with MedStar Washington Hospital Center. A previous version said they were placed on administrative leave.

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