Two Purdue Graduates Among Three Killed in Chicago Hospital Shooting
CHICAGO -- Two of the three people people killed in a mass shooting Monday at Chicago's Mercy Hospital were graduates of Purdue University.
A university spokesperson has confirmed that Dr. Tamara O'Neal was a 2002 Purdue graduate. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says O'Neal was an emergency room doctor who was shot and killed in the parking lot by a man whom she had a previous relationship.
Investigators say the shooter then went inside the hospital and shot Dayna Less, 25, as she was leaving an elevator. Less also graduated from Purdue and was training to become a pharmacist at the hospital..
A police officer was also shot and killed by the gunman, say Chicago Police.
The shooter also died, but it is unclear whether he died from police gunfire or a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators say the shooter approached Dr. O'Neal in the parking lot around 3:30 p.m. As they started arguing, a friend of O'Neal tried to intervene.
He lifted his shirt and revealed a handgun, prompting the friend to flee. Two 911 calls in rapid succession reported an assault and then gunshots, Johnson said.
When officers responded to the scene, they say he opened fire on them before they could exit their vehicle. Officers followed him into the hospital and exchanged gunfire with him, Johnson said.
During the shootout, Officer Samuel Jimenez was shot and killed along with Less as she tried to get out of an elevator. Jimenez was a father of three. He joined the force in February 2017 and recently completed probationary training, becoming a full-fledged officer, Johnson said. A procession was held for him Monday night.
Today, we mourn Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez. His heroic actions saved countless lives. He ran toward danger. He ran toward those shots. He ran into fire. Selflessly. — Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) November 20, 2018
Today, we mourn Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez. His heroic actions saved countless lives. He ran toward danger. He ran toward those shots. He ran into fire. Selflessly.
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) November 20, 2018
The officers "saved a lot of lives because we just don't know how much damage he was prepared to do," Johnson said of the shooter.
Police secured the hospital and patients are safe, the hospital said.
The incident drew large numbers of law enforcement and emergency responders. Vehicles with flashing lights cordoned off the blocks around the busy medical center.
Witness Steven White said he was in the emergency room when he saw the shooter firing at police.
"We heard some shots so we all ran to the emergency window, we see this guy out there, military style, shooting at the police -- pow, pow, pow," he said.
When White looked outside he said he saw a person lying on the ground by the main entrance. The shooter turned around and opened fire again before running inside the main entrance.
"I don't even have words to say how I was feeling," White said. "It's sad, you can't even come to the hospital for treatment."
At least 15 medic units were sent to Mercy Hospital, Chicago Fire Department Public Information Officer Larry Merritt said.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois thanked law enforcement members for their response.
My heart is with Mercy Hospital in Chicago tonight. I am praying for the victims, their families, and those who were injured during the shooting this afternoon. And I am extremely grateful to the Chicago Police Department who responded with bravery. — Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) November 19, 2018
My heart is with Mercy Hospital in Chicago tonight. I am praying for the victims, their families, and those who were injured during the shooting this afternoon. And I am extremely grateful to the Chicago Police Department who responded with bravery.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) November 19, 2018
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.)