A Chicago police officer, doctor and a pharmacy resident were shot and killed Monday afternoon when a man opened fire at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago.
Two 9-1-1 calls were made when witnesses saw the gunman, Juan Lopez, lift up his shirt and reveal a handgun.
When police arrived on the scene, Lopez, 32, opened fire on them before they could exit their vehicles.
Lopez, shot his ex-fiancée, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, in the hospital parking lot, reports ABC 7 Chicago. Lopez then ran into the hospital and continued to shoot.
His next victim was 25-year-old Dayna Less, a pharmacy resident at Mercy Hospital.
Officer Samuel Jimenez went to aid his fellow officers at the hospital around 3:20 p.m. when he was gunned down as well, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“These officers that responded today saved a lot of lives,” said Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “They were heroes because we just don’t know how much damage (the shooter) was prepared to do.”
Jiminez, who was on the force for less than two years, was the second Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty this year.
“When they pulled up, they heard gunshots and they did what heroic officers always do – they ran toward that gunfire,” Johnson said. “So they weren’t assigned to that particular call, but they went because that’s what we do.”
Lopez, who had a concealed carry license, had called the hospital earlier that afternoon to speak to his fiancée, says Steven Mixon, an emergency room clerk.
“He called and asked to speak with his fiancée,” said Mixon. “And she said, ‘Oh, just tell him I’m with a patient.”
Mixon was outside the hospital waiting to get picked up from his shift when he saw O’Neal being harassed by Lopez.
“She was trying to avoid him and move around. And when she saw me, she waved for me to come that way,” Mixon said. “I guess it wasn’t my time to go because if I had made it to her, I would have been dead too.”
Mixon says he then watched the gunman shoot at a police car and shoot O’Neil several times.
Authorities confirmed Lopez had used a 9 mm handgun. Another witness, Hector Avita, says the gunman “reloaded twice. So 32 bullets each.”
“…he could have easily just aimed at us, too,” Avita said. “Because he was just shooting like a maniac. And he obviously knows how to shoot because he was holding the gun with both hands.”
Michael Davenport, the hospital’s chief medical officer, says the hospital had conducted an active shooter drill in October. The hospital’s emergency plan included barricading doors and ensuring patient safety.
At 4:40 p.m., the hospital tweeted that “patients are safe.”
Police say it is unclear whether Lopez died from police gunfire or a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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