What to Know
- A Chicago police officer and two hospital employees died in a shooting Monday at Mercy Hospital. The suspected shooter also was killed.
- The incident began with an altercation in the hospital parking lot, police said, where the suspect fatally shot a doctor he knew.
- The gunman ran into the hospital. A pharmacist was shot in an elevator, and the officer was struck in the exchange of gunfire.
Officer Samuel Jimenez, the young Chicago officer who ran toward danger to save innocent lives as gunfire erupted inside a Chicago hospital last week, was laid to rest one week after his tragic death.
Just as a weekend snowstorm came to an end, skies cleared as Jimenez's body was escorted to his final resting place. Hundreds of mourners and fellow officers gathered for an emotional service at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines Monday to remember the officer many described as a hero long before he wore a badge.
The service quickly became standing-room only.
“He was a one-of-a-kind hero," said friend and fellow officer Rafael Villegas. “There hasn’t been a day or a moment where I wish I was there with him that afternoon. Regardless of the outcome, I just wanted to be there.”
"He selflessly and courageously ran towards danger," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "He sacrificed his safety for the safety of others. He gave his life to save the lives of others.”
Jimenez, who grew up in the city’s Portage Park neighborhood, was a husband and father of three who had been on the force less than two years before his death. He was among three innocent people killed at Mercy Hospital when a gunman, who was also fatally shot, opened fire.
"Throughout his life and on the last day of his life, Samuel followed his two north stars - love of family, love of city," Emanuel said during the funeral service.
The shooting also claimed the lives of Dr. Tamara O'Neal and 28-year-old phamarcist Dr. Dayna Less. A funeral for Less was also slated for Monday.
"Many Chicagoans were saved because of you," Supt. Eddie Johnson said during Jimenez's service Monday. "Thank you so much for your dedication, commitment and sacrifice. So, on behalf of a heartbroken city and police department, Sam, may you rest in peace.”
As his casket was carried out of the church, his tearful wife clutched the flag that once draped it. A line of cars stretching for miles escorted his body to its final resting place.
Mercy has set up a fund for donations to benefit the victims' families.