A gunman opened fire Monday afternoon outside a Near South Side hospital, then went inside and continued firing, according to witnesses and police. Among those slain was the second Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty this year. Here are five things to know about the attack:
Where did the shooting take place?
The attack started about 3:20 p.m. at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, 2525 S. Michigan Ave, just south of the Stevenson Expressway (Interstate 55) near Lake Shore Drive.
Who are the victims?
Emergency room doctor Tamara O’Neal, 38, was shot repeatedly outside the hospital by the gunman, who at one point was seen standing over her as he fired the last shots, according to police sources and witnesses who spoke to the Tribune. O’Neal graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago in 2016. Patrick Connor, the emergency department director at Mercy, recalled that O’Neal prioritized having time to go to church every Sunday. “That was her one thing she wanted … to be able to go to church on Sunday,” Connor said. “We’ll make sure you go to church on Sunday.”
Officer Samuel Jimenez, who was shot in the lobby of Mercy, was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center, 5841 S. Maryland Ave., where he died.
Jimenez, 28, had just completed his probationary period with the Police Department. He was married with three young children. Sgt. Larry Snelling, who is assigned to the Chicago police academy, described Jimenez as a stellar recruit. “He was on top of his game,” Snelling told the Tribune. “He was always in control. It takes a special kind of person to go through the rigors of the training without any issues, any problems. He was able to deal and cope with the stress.”
Dayna Less, 25, was shot to death by the gunman as she walked out of an elevator inside the hospital, according to police. Less was a first-year pharmacy resident. She had recently graduated from Purdue University and had started working at the hospital in July.
Her father said she was engaged to her childhood sweetheart. As a teen, she fought through major health challenges, and her career path was a product of that experience, Brian Less said.
Who is the gunman?
Police and sources identified the gunman as Juan Lopez, 32, who had gone to the hospital and confronted O’Neal over an apparent “broken engagement.” Lopez was found dead inside the hospital. He had been shot in the head, but it was unclear whether he was shot by police or killed himself.
Lopez is believed to have used a handgun. At least one witness and a police source identified the handgun as a 9 mm pistol. One witness told the Tribune he thought the gunman fired about 32 rounds.
A Chicago Fire Department spokesman said Lopez had threatened to shoot up the Chicago Fire Academy nearly five years ago after he was fired for “improper conduct” toward women there.
How long did the shooting last?
The shooting did not develop into a long-term standoff. The attack started about 3:20 p.m., and by 3:49 p.m. police were confirming that “one possible” attacker had been shot and officers were doing a “methodical search” of the hospital.
At 4:40 p.m., Mercy Hospital tweeted that “patients are safe.”
Was anyone else hurt?
Gunfire came close to striking at least one other officer, police said. Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said a bullet went through the officer’s holster. Sources said the slug lodged in the officer’s gun.
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