Instead of Chicago’s Mercy Hospital & Medical Center being a safe haven for those in need of medical attention, on Monday afternoon, (Nov. 19) it became a place of chaos and fear after a 32-year-old man opened fire killing his ex-fiance, another hospital employee and an officer.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Juan Lopez confronted 38-year-old Tamar O’Neal at about 3:30 PM inside the hospital parking lot. The two argued because sources say O’Neal broke off the engagement.
By the time officer Samuel Jimenez, 28 and his partner arrived, Lopez was reportedly standing over O’Neal’s body having fired off the last rounds.
“When they pulled up, they heard the gunshots, and they did what heroic officers always do — they ran toward that gunfire,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during in a press conference. “So they weren’t assigned to that particular call, but they went because that’s what we do.”
Sources say Lopez exchanged fire with Jimenez and other cops as he ran into the hospital. Dayna Less, 25 was a first-year pharmacy resident and was shot and killed as she exited an elevator. “That woman got off an elevator and was shot, why?” Johnson said.
Patrick Connor the hospital’s Emergency Department director was visibly emotional Monday night while describing O’Neal who graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago in 2016 and worked diligently to raise money for disadvantaged children. She was very active with her church and also led the choir
“That was her one thing she wanted … to be able to go to church on Sunday,” Connor said, adding that they assured her she could. “We’ll make sure you go to church on Sunday.”
Less graduated from Purdue University and began working at the hospital in July. Officer Jiminez, who had been on the force for two years, was taken to a local hospital where he died. He was married with three children.