CHICAGO (RNN/AP) - A gunman opened fire Monday at a Chicago hospital, killing three people, including a police officer and two hospital staffers, authorities said.
On Monday night, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said there was a verbal altercation Monday afternoon in the hospital parking lot between the male suspect and a female hospital staffer, said to be a doctor, with whom the suspect was in a relationship.
A third person tried to intervene in the argument. The suspect displayed a handgun, and the third person ran inside the hospital.
The suspect then fatally shot the female staffer he’d been arguing with.
Police soon arrived. The suspect fired multiple shots at them before they could exit their car. The suspect then ran into the hospital.
Police engaged in a firefight with the suspect inside the hospital, where he fatally shot another female staffer and an officer.
Another officer was hit, but the bullet struck his holster and got lodged in his gun, and he wasn’t injured.
The suspect was also fatally shot, but it’s not yet known if he took his own life or was killed by police.
The deceased staffers were identified by The Chicago Tribune as Dr. Tamara O’Neal and 25-year-old Dayna Less, a Purdue University graduate who was training to become a pharmacist.
The deceased officer was identified as 28-year-old Samuel Jimenez. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
“The city of Chicago lost a doctor, pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer, all going about their day, all doing what they loved,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “This just tears at the soul of our city. It is the face and consequence of evil.”
“What I would ask is that you keep all the victims of today’s horrific incident in your thoughts and prayers,” Johnson said.
Monday afternoon, multiple witnesses reported hearing gunshots at the hospital.
James Gray told reporters that he saw multiple people shot.
“It looked like he was turning and shooting people at random,” he said.
“I am scared as hell. I have never been so scared. I hear of shootings going on every day at people’s workplaces, but not where I work at. This was very too close to me. That could have been us back there and if any bullets had pierced the wall we all would have been hurt,” an employee of the hospital’s family clinic told WLS TV.
Tracy Lyons was walking out of the hospital when gunfire erupted.
“All of a sudden you hear five to six gunshots,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times. Lyons saw police exchanging shots with someone near the hospital. “So, I ran inside the building to alert the receptionist and the nurse, ‘They are shooting outside.’”