Chicago Doctor Killed in Mercy Hospital Shooting Had ‘Heart of Gold'

"This tears at the soul of our city," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press conference Monday night. "It is the face and the consequence of evil."

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 pharmaceutical assistant was shot in an elevator, and the officer was struck in the exchange of gunfire.

A Chicago doctor shot and killed Monday afternoon by a gunman at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center has been identified by family members as Dr. Tamara O'Neal, a devoted physician who "loved helping people."

Dr. O'Neal was among four killed, including Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez, a pharmaceutical assistant and the gunman, police said.

"She’s one of the sweetest nieces that I have," O'Neal's aunt, Delores Davis said. "She was also dedicated to her church."

O'Neal, an emergency room doctor at the hospital, was described as "a sweetheart" who "had a heart of gold."

"This tears at the soul of our city," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press conference Monday night. "It is the face and the consequence of evil."

Supt. Eddie Johnson said Monday the incident started in the hospital parking lot at about 3:28 p.m., during a verbal altercation between the shooter and O'Neal, who he was "in a domestic relationship with."

A friend tried to intervene in the argument, Johnson said, and the shooter lifted his shirt and displayed a handgun. The friend fled into the hospital, and the shooter shot O'Neal, Johnson said. 

Chaotic Scene Unfolds Amid Shooting at Mercy Hospital

As police arrived at the scene, the shooter fired at officers before they exited their cars, Johnson said. The man then ran into the hospital, and gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and police.

During the exchange, a pharmaceutical assistant exiting an elevator was fatally shot, Johnson said. She has not yet been identified. Jimenez also was shot in the exchange and taken in critical condition to the University of Chicago Hospital. He later died from his wounds.

Jimenez, from the 2nd District, joined the force in February 2017 and had just finished his probationary period as an officer, Johnson said. He and his partner were assigned to another location when they responded to officers needing assistance.

James Gray, a witness, told reporters that he saw at least one woman shot near the hospital. 

James Gray, who witnessed the shooting unfold at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, describes what he saw. Police say multiple people, including a police officer and the possible gunman, were shot. 

He said he saw a man and a woman talking to one another when the man pulled out a gun and shot the woman.

"Once he entered he just started shooting at random," Gray said. "It looked like he was turning and pointing at people at random."

A Twitter user posted video of what appeared to be Chicago police officers searching the interior of the hospital.

"The shooting at Mercy Hospital is over," the hospital said on Facebook. "Chicago Police Department have secured the hospital and patients are safe."

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive's Chicago Field Division was responding to the scene to assist other local authorities.

Police asked that people avoid the area.

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