Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Incredible Heroes': Nurses and Therapist Stop Crazed Rampage as Teen Allegedly Attacks, Strangles Newborns


There are times when people go on such insane rampages, acting so utterly opposed to anything we would consider human, that it’s difficult to understand what could possibly be the motivation behind the act other than evil.

This particular incident has people wondering just that and positing that mental illness or drugs must be at play.

The case in question took place at the Odessa Regional Medical Center in Odessa, Texas, on Monday at around 6:30 p.m.

Marcus McCowan Jr., an 18-year-old, was at the hospital to visit his girlfriend while she was in labor, according to an affidavit referenced by KMID-TV.

What should have been a joyous time of celebration and welcoming a new life into the world nearly turned into the loss of several lives when McCowan started acting erratically, the station reported.

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It started at the nurse’s desk, when the young man grabbed a nurse’s arm and started babbling unintelligibly at the nurse, according to the affidavit. After the staff asked him to leave, he began running up and down the hall.

At that time, a mom was waiting to be discharged, holding her baby in a carrier, and McCowan started to focus on the baby. The mom shifted, moving her baby out of view, and that seemed to work for a moment, according to the report.

But it only worked for a moment. McCowan continued screaming and running and then ran full-tilt at the nurses at the desk before trying to force his way into the locked nursery, the news outlet said.

Failing to break in, he returned his attention to the baby in the carrier, wrenching the carrier from the mother and running into a nearby lactation room, where a nurse saw him start strangling the baby in its carrier until it turned color, according to KMID.

The nurses were quickly on him and managed to get him away from the helpless baby, but according to the affidavit, he soon found another victim after successfully forcing his way into the nursery.

A respiratory therapist who saw him ran after him as he picked up another baby and began strangling that one, too, until it turned blue, the station reported. He reportedly said “die” while he continued strangling the newborn and appeared to be preparing to throw it against the ground.

The therapist tried to slowly pull McCowan to the ground while protecting the newborn’s head, keeping the young man pinned until help arrived, the station reported.

Police arrived, but McCowan still wasn’t finished. As they attempted to detain him, he reportedly tried to grab an officer’s gun.

“On October 03, 2022, Officers of the Odessa Police Department responded to Odessa Regional Medical Hospital in reference to a disturbance,” the Odessa Police Department shared on Facebook Oct. 3. “According to the staff at ORMC, a man forced his way into the Nursery and began assaulting patients and staff. Upon arrival, Officers contacted Marcus McCowan Jr (18 years of age). During this contact, McCowan was aggressive toward officers, which led to a physical altercation.

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“During this altercation, McCowan resisted the officers and attempted to take one of their firearms from its holster. The officers were able to take McCowan into custody. This is still a very active investigation, and numerous charges are pending. The victims of this assault are listed as two infants, two nurses, and one Odessa Police Officer.”

The suspect was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance, police reported.

According to KMID, McCowan now faces multiple 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. His bond has been set at $228,000.

While this was a harrowing event, the real heroes in this story are the nurses and respiratory therapist who put their lives on the line to protect their littlest charges. If it weren’t for their quick thinking and immediate action, there likely would have been at least two families going home without their babies.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to those who responded to the incident last evening, especially our nurses, therapists and security team who worked diligently to protect innocent babies and others,” ORMC President Stacey Brown said in a statement.

“The staff and physicians, along with the response team from the Odessa Police Department, are incredible heroes and we are all so grateful to each of them. Our attention is now focused on caring for and supporting those who were impacted by this including our patients, their families, and our staff.”

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