Praying COVID-19 patient beaten to death by another patient

Authorities say an 82-year-old man with COVID-19 was beaten to death by another man also being treated for the coronavirus at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California.

The Los Angeles Times reported the unidentified victim, a Catholic, was praying.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the other man in the two-person room, suspect Jesse Martinez, became angry. Just before 10 a.m. Dec. 17, he used an oxygen tank to strike the victim.

Police said the men did not know each other.

The victim died of his injuries the next morning.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement to the L.A. Times he was “shocked and saddened” by the incident.

“These families were already experiencing a hardship and now this — it’s senseless,” he said.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Brandon Dean told the L.A. Times that Martinez, 37, was detained by hospital staff before being arrested.

BuzzFeed News reported Martinez was removed from the hospital after the attack. He has been charged with murder and has a sentencing enhancement for elder abuse and religion-motivated hate crime, the L.A. Times reported.

According to records, BuzzFeed News reported, Martinez was booked into the county jail, where he is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. He is due to appear in court Monday.