Sunday, January 9, 2005

Seven persons, most of them senior citizens, were slashed by a knife-wielding housekeeper at the Goodwin House retirement home in Alexandria yesterday, police said.

The suspect, whose name was not released, was subdued by a visitor at the house before police arrived.

Police and paramedics responded to a call at about 2:45 p.m. from a staff member at the facility, who said another employee, a 30-year-old Alexandria man, was on the second floor assaulting people with a knife.

“The attack occurred in an office, hallways and living quarters,” said Amy Bertsch, spokeswoman for the Alexandria Police Department. “He moved from one location to another.”

“We definitely are grateful for that visitor,” Miss Bertsch said.

When police arrived, the suspect purportedly punched one officer in the face before being restrained and taken into custody.

The motive for the crime, a felony assault, is not known. The suspect had not been formally charged as of last night.

None of the victims’ names or ages were released yesterday evening, but at least four of them were in their 80s and 90s, Miss Bertsch said.

Two of the persons injured were visitors to the facility and one was an employee.

The injuries included lacerations, cuts and bruising, police said.

Six of the victims were taken to Inova Fairfax and Inova Alexandria hospitals, while one declined treatment.

None of the injuries was considered life threatening, though police were especially concerned for the victims’ welfare because of their ages, Miss Bertsch said.

The home, located at 4800 Fillmore Ave. in the west end of Alexandria, provides assisted- and independent-living arrangements for senior citizens.

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