PICO BLVD — Santa Monica police on Monday described the fatal stabbing of a 61-year-old woman who lived at The Manor — a home for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled — as a “random attack.”
The woman, whose name has not been released pending the notification of her family, was sitting in a courtyard at the home Sunday about 7:45 a.m. when she was allegedly attacked by Rigoberto Ruiz — a resident of an affiliated semi-assisted living facility — following a confrontation, police said.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police took Ruiz, 55, into custody without incident.
Police said they have recovered the murder weapon but declined to provide further details about the stabbing. No other suspects are being sought in the attack.
The victim was a longtime resident of The Manor, located at 1905 Pico Blvd., who “never caused any problems” and “wasn’t known to be involved in any type of confrontations,” said Sgt. Robert Almada, who supervises the Santa Monica Police Department’s robbery and homicide division.
Ruiz has “an extensive criminal history including crimes of violence,” police said. He had moved into an assisted living facility on the 2000 block of Pico Boulevard in recent months, Almada added.
There’s no evidence the suspect and victim had any prior relationship before the attack, he said.
Ruiz is expected to be charged with first degree murder and a parole violation at the Airport Courthouse today.
Police said the stabbing was a rare episode of violence at The Manor, a state-licensed facility that has provided room, board, care and supervision for people with mental illnesses and for those with developmental disabilities since the 1960s, according to its website.
The facility’s administrator, Jason McCullough, declined to comment on the incident.
Almada said the facility’s managers brought in grief counselor’s to talk with residents on Monday.
“There’s a lot of shock from the residents there,” he said. “It’s caused a lot of anxiety among them.”