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Man killed by fellow patient at Washington, D.C., hospital

Police reportedly sent the two men to Saint Elizabeths Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation before the fatal fight overnight.

A man is dead after a fight with a fellow patient at a Washington, D.C., psychiatric hospital, according to officials.

The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that David Dowdell, 65, died in a fight early Wednesday morning at Saint Elizabeths Hospital.

MPD wrote that Dowdell was found in "a secure area of a hospital, unconscious and unresponsive, suffering from apparent trauma."

Charles Lee, 28, was arrested and charged with first degree murder, MPD said.

Saint Elizabeths Hospital, a public psychiatric hospital in southeast Washington, D.C., is "committed to a safe, therapeutic environment for individuals with serious mental illness who need inpatient treatment to recover," the D.C. Department of Dept. of Behavioral Health said in a statement.

St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C.
St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C.Bill O'Leary / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

"Per our protocol, Saint Elizabeths will conduct an internal investigation to determine whether all safety procedures were followed. We are providing emotional support to patients and staff," they wrote.

NBC Washington reported that the victim was found during a routine room check and that both the victim and the suspect were at Saint Elizabeths for court-ordered psychiatric evaluations.