A doctor with a rifle hidden under a lab coat has shot dead a female physician and seriously wounded six other doctors before trying to set himself on fire and turning the gun on himself at a Bronx hospital.
Dr Henry Bello, a family physician, opened fire at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital where he used to work at about 2.45pm on Friday.
The 45-year-old gunman was hiding a high-powered assault rifle under his white medical coat and had his ID card on him when he started the shooting spree on the 16th and 17th floors of the hospital, police sources say.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill confirmed that the shooter died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the building.
The shooter had tried to set himself on fire prior to fatally shooting himself.
The body of the female victim, believed to be a doctor, was found next to the shooter on the 17th floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Five of the victims were seriously injured in the shooting rampage and one victim is being treated for a gunshot wound to their leg.
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First image: Dr Henry Bello, 45, has been named as the deceased gunman who carried out a deadly attack at his former place of work, the Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Friday afternoon
At least five people, including three doctors, have been shot at Bronx Lebanon Hospital after a former employee dressed as a physician opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle. First responders are seen with stretchers outside the entrance
A woman is escorted by officers in plainclothes near the Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York Friday
A woman is escorted by officers near the Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York after a gunman opened fire there
The incident unfolded at around 2.45pm at the medical center on Grand Concourse in the Morris Heights section of The Bronx
Bello had been a family medicine physician at the hospital. It was not immediately clear why he was no longer working at the hospital.
CBS New York reported that Bello was fired two years ago for harassing an employee. He reportedly went to the hospital to find the employee before opening fire on his former colleagues.
Witness Dione Morales, who has been a patient at the hospital for 17 years, told CBS New York the shooter had threatened to kill people when he was fired.
‘He was let go because I guess they figured he was unstable. He said he was going to do this,’ she said. ‘He said he was going to kill people, two years ago when he was let go – two years… and now look what happened.’
Sources told NBC New York that Bello resigned from his position at the hospital in 2015 rather than get fired.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was not related to terrorism and appeared to be a workplace incident.
‘One doctor is dead and several doctors are fighting for their lives right now,’ de Blasio said.
‘The shooter killed himself but not before doing horrible damage. Our hearts go out to the family of the doctor who passed away.
‘This was a horrific situation unfolding in a place associated with care and comfort.’
Heavily armed police patrol the scene outside the hospital after the gunman opened fire on Friday afternoon
Police sources say the gunman was hiding the high-powered weapon under his lab coat before the attack on the 16th floor of the hospital
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was not related to terrorism and appeared to be a workplace incident
Police gather outside Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York afterthe shooting rampage
Incident began unfolding at around 2.45pm at the medical center on Grand Concourse
Officers carrying assault-style rifles are posted outside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital where a former employee stages a deadly rampage
Hospital employees barricaded themselves in hospital rooms by stacking furniture up against the doors during the lockdown
In this image taken from video, emergency personnel converge on Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York, after a gunman opened fire there on Friday
The gunman hid a high-powered rifle inside his lab coat before launching the attack
Authorities described a chaotic scene at Bronx Lebanon Hospital as gunfire erupted, spreading terror throughout the hospital as employees locked themselves inside rooms and patients feared for their lives.
Shortly after receiving a 911 call about an active shooter, police officers went floor by floor, their guns drawn, looking for the gunman.
An FDNY official told the New York Times at least three of the shooting victims were doctors.
Police described the suspect in a radio transmission as a tall, thin man in a blue shirt and a white lab coat.
Television images showed the hospital surrounded by police cars and fire trucks. Police could be seen on the roof of the building, at one point, with their guns drawn.
Emergency crews had been kept from going inside the hospital while the shooter was at large.
Employees and their loved ones described the horrifying moments as they scrambled for information.
Garry Trimble said his wife, hospital employee Denise Brown, called him from inside the hospital shortly after 3pm.
‘She woke me up and told me there was a situation, somebody’s out there shooting people,’ Trimble said as he waited for his wife to come out. ‘I could hear in her voice she was shaking and about to cry.’
A heavy police presence is seen outside the hospital a short time after the shooting
Television images showed the hospital surrounded by police cars and fire trucks
Police cars are seen parked outside the hospital on Grand Concourse during the active shooter situation
Armed officers with a dog are on the scene in The Bronx Friday afternoon
Fire Department rescue workers head towards the scene after the inside the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in New York City
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center describes itself as the largest voluntary, not-for-profit health care system in the south and central Bronx
Gonzalo Carazo described the scary scene to WCBS-TV. ‘I saw one of the doctors and he had a gunshot wound to his hand,’ Carazo said.
‘All I heard was a doctor saying, ‘Help, help!” Carazo locked himself in a room for about 15 minutes until police came and led him out of the hospital.
“I thought I was going to die,” said Renaldo Del Villar, a 55-year-old patient who was in the third-floor emergency room getting treatment for a lower back injury.
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center describes itself as the largest voluntary, not-for-profit health care system in the south and central Bronx.
The 120-year-old hospital claims nearly 1,000 beds spread across multiple units. Its emergency room is among the busiest in New York City.
The hospital is about a mile and a half north of Yankee Stadium.
In 2011, two people were shot at Bronx Lebanon in what police said was a gang-related attack.