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Domestic Shooting At Chicago Hospital Leaves 4 Dead

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Four people are dead after a mass shooting at Mercy Hospital in Chicago yesterday. They include a doctor and a Chicago police officer. WBEZ's Miles Bryan reports.

MILES BRYAN, BYLINE: The shooting took place yesterday afternoon at the near-South Side hospital. Police say it started with a fight between Dr. Tamara O'Neal and a man she had a, quote, "domestic relationship with." The Chicago Tribune reports it may have been over a broken engagement. Someone called 911, but before officers arrived, the man pulled out a handgun and shot and killed O'Neal in the hospital parking lot. Tracy Lyons had just finished radiation treatment when she heard the shots.

TRACY LYONS: Then the detectives pulled up. They jumped out. All guns was drawn. Then you heard some more gun shots. So I ran back into the building and say, they shooting outside. Next thing you know, we get code silver called over the intercom. That mean lock yourself where you are.

BRYAN: As Lyons and other hospital patients and employees looked for cover, the man went inside the hospital. There, police say he shot and killed another hospital staffer, a first-year pharmacy resident. Clarence Smith works in the E.R. He says when he heard the shots, he immediately began moving the patients around him to safety.

CLARENCE SMITH: It was a scary situation bringing them out because CPD was doing their job, and you don't know if that shooter was down the hall or not. But you had to put the blinders on and just keep moving forward, and that's what I did.

BRYAN: A hospital official says employees trained for an active shooter scenario like this just last month. The gunman shot one police officer in the holster of their gun. Miraculously, the officer wasn't hurt. Officer Samuel Jimenez wasn't so lucky. The 28-year-old father of three was killed. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the deaths at an emotional late-night news conference.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

RAHM EMANUEL: This tears at the soul of our city. It is the face and the consequence of evil.

BRYAN: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Officer Jimenez had just finished his probationary period. Johnson says Jimenez and his partner were actually responding to a radio call for help.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

EDDIE JOHNSON: When they pulled up, they heard the gunshots, and they did what the heroic officers always do. They ran towards that gunfire.

BRYAN: After the press conference, hundreds of Chicago police officers joined Jimenez's body in a solemn procession to the morgue. He's the second Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty this year. For NPR News, I'm Miles Bryan in Chicago. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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