Four people were killed during a shooting on Monday at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, including a city police officer and two hospital employees, authorities said.
Eddie Johnson, the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, said at a press briefing an unidentified gunman was involved in a domestic dispute with a woman outside the hospital around 3:30 p.m. local time. The man later pulled out the handgun, fatally shot the woman, who was an employee of the hospital, and ran inside the building while firing multiple shots at officers arriving in a patrol car.
The gunman killed another female hospital employee inside the building who was emerging from an elevator before exchanging more gunfire with police officers, one of whom was also fatally wounded. A bullet hit the other officer’s holster but did not injure the officer.
The slain officer was identified as P.O. Samuel Jimenez, according to Anthony Guglielmi, the chief communications officer for Chicago Police. He was hired in February 2017 and had recently completed his new hire probationary period, Johnson said.
Hospital officials told The New York Times the other victims were emergency room doctor Tamara O’Neal, 38, and Dayna Less, 25, who was in her first year of medical residency training to become a pharmacist.
The suspect died at the scene from a gunshot wound, although police said they were unclear if it was self-inflicted or from officers.
“Those officers that responded today saved a lot of lives,” Johnson told reporters. “That guy was just shooting, that poor woman got off an elevator and he just shot, why? We just don’t know how much damage he was prepared to do.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the slain officer and his partner’s responses “selfless” and said the tragedy, just days before Thanksgiving, had affected the entire city.
“The city of Chicago lost a doctor, a pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer all going about their day, all doing what they love,” Emanuel, holding back tears, said at the briefing. “This tears at the soul of our city. It is the face and the consequence of evil.”
Both Emanuel and Johnson had presided over the graduation and promotion of 363 officers earlier in the day at the city’s Navy Pier, and the mayor said that with the afternoon’s shooting, the day had been a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows for the police force.
Johnson celebrated the bravery of the responding officers at Monday’s press conference, saying they hadn’t been assigned the call but heard gunshots and rushed over.
“They do what officers always do, they ran toward that gunfire,” the superintendent said. “They weren’t assigned to that call, but they went. Because that’s what we do.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.