Homicide at Columbia VA Hospital

Columbia Police are investigating a homicide at Truman Veterans Hospital.

A Sedalia man is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond in the VA Hospital homicide investigation. Police identified the suspect as 33-year-old Rudy Perez, Jr., whose warrant was for first degree murder.

Columbia Police said 78-year-old Robert Hill was the man who was killed Friday at the VA hospital. Perez allegedly assaulted Hill at 6:30 Friday evening. Hill died from his injuries at 10:30 p.m.

Perez was released from jail two days before the incident. He had been accused of assaulting a neighbor, but was not charged.

The VA Hospital Police turned the investigation over to Columbia Police around 2:30 Saturday afternoon. The homicide, which hospital spokesman Stephen Gaither said was the result of "patient-on-patient assault," occurred in an in-patient unit.

The Columbia Police Department is reviewing the investigation provided by the VA Hospital Police. The department did not have an opportunity to process the crime scene. Officials with the Department of Veteran's Affairs processed the scene Saturday before the local authorities were brought in to the investigation.