The incident happened at the Ryhov Hospital, in the wing used to house people who have been convicted of crimes and diagnosed with mental illnesses.
The patient attacked the warder as he returned from day release. He was immediately arrested and taken to Jönköping police station for questioning.
The dead warder was born in 1953 and had worked at the hospital for 30 years, said hospital spokeswoman Anna-Lena Bengtsdotter.
The warder was stabbed as he was letting the patient into the secure wing. The attack took place in the holding area that separates the secure hospital from the outside world, which is supposed to act as a defence against escape.
“The attacker rushed into the holding area and stabbed the victim, who sustained wounds to his stomach,” said Lennart Wennblom, leading the police investigation.
The warder had no time to defend himself:
“He fell down by the door to the department,” said Wennblom. The holding area is there as a security feature, and is equipped with a metal detector which can reveal when visitors are carrying weapons. On this occasion the holding area was not enough to protect the warder. He died on the operating table at 14:38 on Thursday.