A domestic dispute turned into a mass shooting at a hospital Monday evening. Juan Lopez came to the hospital where his former fiance, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, worked. Lopez shot and killed O’Neal, then turned the gun on others. One police officer was also killed, and a second was saved when his duty weapon stopped one of Lopez’s bullets.
In all, Lopez killed three people working at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. His rampage ended when SWAT officers engaged him inside the hospital. Lopez died on the scene.
The murderous rampage is believed to have been the end of a bad break-up. Lopez and O’Neal had been engaged. He reportedly confronted her in the parking lot of the hospital and demanded her engagement ring back.
A verbal altercation ensued. O’Neal reportedly asked other in the parking lot to stay, as she felt threatened. Some witnesses say she even mentioned that he was going to kill her.
Lopez shot her three times in the chest, and she fell. He then shot her three more times. He then fired on a police car in the parking lot of the hospital.
Lopez then entered the building and shot others who were working there. 25-year-old pharmacy resident Dayna Less was killed.
Chicago police officer Samuel Jimenez, 28, and his partner responded to the call and entered the building to pursue Lopez. They found him. Lopez then shot Officer Jimenez, who later died.
There was a second officer on scene. He was also shot, but the bullet entered his holster and struck his Smith & Wesson. The hollow-point lodged against the slide of the officer’s pistol.
SWAT officers found Lopez in the building, and shot him when he refused to comply with verbal commands.
Dr. O’Neal worked in the emergency room at Mercy as a doctor. Officer Jimanez had recently finished his probationary period. Dayna Less was working as a first-year pharmacy resident at Mercy.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said his department was on scene as the shooting started. “Officers observed him with a handgun,” Johnson said, describing what happened in the parking lot. “He fired multiple shots before they could exit the squad car.”
Jimanez and his partner responded to the shots-fired call.
“When they pulled up, they heard the gunshots,” Johnson said. “They did what the heroic officers always do, they ran towards the gunfire.”
“They weren’t assigned to that particular call,” he added, “but they went.”