An 18-year-old male has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly strangled two newborns in a Texas hospital's maternity ward Monday evening, shaking one of them by the neck and saying "die" to the infant, who had turned blue.
What are the details?
Marcus McCowan Jr. has been charged with two counts of attempted capital murder, assault, assault of a public servant, resisting arrest, attempting to take a weapon from an officer, criminal trespass, and possession of a controlled substance, KMID-TV reported, adding that an affidavit revealed details about the incident.
The station said McCowan was visiting Odessa Regional Medical Center because his girlfriend was in labor. A nurse said McCowan approached her at the nurse’s station and grabbed her arm and made an “unintelligible statement," KMID said.
He was asked to leave the area, and nurses said he began running back and forth in the hall, the station reported.
McCowan then reportedly approached a mother who was holding her newborn in a baby carrier while waiting to be discharged, KMID said.
The nurses said McCowan began focusing on the newborn, but when the new mother moved her child from his line of sight, McCowan briefly walked away, the station said.
Soon nurses said they heard stomping and saw McCowan running toward them while yelling and screaming and tried to enter the nursery, which was locked and not publicly accessible, KMID reported.
McCowan reportedly pushed one nurse to the ground while trying to break into the nursery, the station said.
When he failed to get into the nursery, McCowan grabbed the newborn in the carrier from the mother and took the infant into the Lactation Room, KMID reported.
McCowan was reportedly seen with his hands around the infants’s neck, and the newborn's face reportedly changed color from lack of oxygen, the station said.
Nurses wrestled the infant from McCowan, KMID said.
Then a respiratory therapist who heard yelling and came to investigate saw McCowan force his way into the nursery, the station said.
The therapist ran to the nursery and saw McCowan grab a newborn and begin strangling her with both hands, then picked up the newborn — who had since turned blue — by her neck and began to shake her, KMID said.
According to the therapist, McCowan said “die” to the infant and appeared to be about to throw the infant to the floor, the station said.
The therapist tried to slowly pull McCowan to the floor in order to keep the infant from falling, KMID reported, adding that the therapist stayed with McCowan and the newborn and protected the newborn's head until help arrived.
What happened next?
The emergency call went out around 6:30 p.m., and when Odessa Police Department officers arrived on the scene, McCowan tried to resist arrest and a scuffle ensued, the station said. After McCowan was placed in handcuffs and was being taken away, he tried twice to take an officer’s gun from his holster, KMID reported.
Police also found a THC vape pen on him, the Odessa American reported.
McCowan's bond was set at a combined $228,000, the station said. He remained in the Ector County Law Enforcement Center as of Friday afternoon.
It's unclear how the newborns are doing health-wise in the wake of the alleged attack.