Resident who tried to murder assisted living supervisor escapes prosecution

Share this article:
James M. Berklan, McKnight's Editor
James M. Berklan, McKnight's Editor

The 87-year-old man who said he tried to kill an assistant living supervisor because he felt “bullied” will not be prosecuted for shooting the long-term care employee once in the stomach.

Arthur Hames died last week after being moved from the Snohomish County Jail in Washington state to a local hospital. The medical examiner isn't investigating the shooter's death, which seems to indicate it would be attributed to natural causes, according to a local report.

Hames took out his wrath on supervisor Roger Holbrook on Feb. 4, firing once or twice with a gun he smuggled into the Josephine Sunset Home in Stanwood, WA. The weapon was wrestled away and Hames was held on $200,000 bond.

However, on Feb. 15, authorities said, Hames was moved from the jail to a hospital when it became apparent he would not survive long due to failing health. Prosecutors dropped the assault charges they had filed.

According to authorities, Hames freely admitted that he had intended to kill Holbrook for alleged bullying, and then himself. The facility's CEO firmly denied Hames had been mistreated.

Holbrook, incidentally, was flown to a Seattle hospital after being shot and was released later that day. Court documents said that he was expected to fully recover.

Right after the shooting, I wrote a blog that pondered, “Who will be pronounced the bad guy in this nursing home crime?” and readers flocked to it. The query in the headline proved prescient, as comment writers, among others, argued over the cause and outcome of the shooting. While some excoriated the shooter, others wanted, and still want, an investigation into his allegations of mistreatment.

The State Department of Social and Health Services opened an investigation right after the shooting, but the status of its report was not clear on Tuesday.

Share this article:

Next Article in Daily Editors' Notes

Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editor's Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor on Monday and Friday; Staff Writer Tim Mullaney on Tuesday, Editor James M. Berklan on Wednesday and Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman on Thursday.


    More in Daily Editors' Notes

    Maybe this sector's bankers need to start taking their own advice

    Maybe this sector's bankers need to start taking ...

    First and foremost, the NIC conference is a conduit that links those with money to those who need it. The event also features informative educational sessions that delve into where ...

    ICD-10 is around the corner, for real this time

    ICD-10 is around the corner, for real this ...

    There's a looming massive report on all the hospital readmissions data in your area and the strategic plan your facility needs to pursue. It involves talking to lots of employees, ...

    The sweet irony of a nursing home report card

    The sweet irony of a nursing home report ...

    It's said that politics, among other things, makes for strange bedfellows. Add long-term care quality improvement efforts to the list.