The cafeteria at John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County was a crime scene Monday following a fight between two employees that left one of them dead.
"It's a rough afternoon. It's a very heavy afternoon for employees at the hospital," said hospital spokeswoman Marisa Kollias.
Witnesses told NBC Chicago the pair, Ramon Washington and Beverly Garrett appeared fine when seen together in an elevator shortly before the incident. Moments later, however, sources said Washington attacked Garrett, hitting her on the head with a hammer before ducking into a walk-in freezer, locking the door, and slicing his own throat.
Cook County Officials declined to confirm those details, but Kollias said the the incident did not take place in an open area where "a lot of people would be eating their lunch or an early dinner."
Garrett is reportedly in stable condition and doctors expect her to be OK.
Sources told NBC Chicago Washington is the nephew of former Cook County Commissioner Bobby Steele and the cousin of current Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele.
Washington and Garrett were both Local SEIU 73 members. A spokesman for the union said Washington was the second member in two days to die. Another member died Sunday in a car crash in Berwyn.