At least four people have been killed after a shooting incident at a hospital on Chicago’s Southside.
ABC News reports that all three shooting victims died as a result of their injuries and the shooter was also killed.
According to the report, the shooting was the result of a verbal dispute that violently escalated:
The shooting began as a verbal altercation between a man and a woman near Michigan Avenue outside of the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in the city’s Bronzeville District, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters Monday evening.
After a friend of one of the individuals tried to intervene, the man then lifted up his shirt, showing that he was armed, Johnson said.
The acquaintance then fled into the hospital, and the man fired at the woman in the parking lot, killing her, Johnson said. The couple were in a domestic relationship, and the woman was an employee at the hospital.
After killing the woman, the gunman—identified as Larry Langford—clashed with law enforcement officers outside the hospital. The gunman fired at the police officers and, after several rounds were exchanged, he fled inside the hospital.
Later, a female staff member and a police officer were killed by gunfire, ABC News reports.
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During a news conference, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel identified the two woman victims as 38-year-old Tamara O’Neal and 25-year-old Dayna Less. O’Neal was a doctor and Less was a pharmaceutical assistant, the mayor said.
“The City of Chicago lost a doctor, pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer, all going about their day, all doing what they love,” Emanuel said.
Patrick Connor, director of emergency medicine at the hospital described O’Neal as an emergency room physician who was dedicated to her church and never worked Sundays. Less was a pharmacy resident in training.
“A hospital should be a safe place,” Connor said, per ABC News. “Every shooting in America is a tragedy — it is a national tragedy. And it is especially senseless when a shooting occurs in a healing space of a hospital.”
Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department, took to Twitter during and following the incident where he identified the fallen officer as Samuel Jimenez.
It was not disclosed at the news conference how the gunman was killed, whether by law enforcement officials or the result of a self-inflicted wound.
Here’s more on the tragedy, via the Washington Examiner:
A witness named James Gray told reporters that it looked as if the attacker “was turning and shooting people at random.”
The shooting apparently began as the suspect was walking with a woman near a parking lot. He turned and repeatedly shot the woman in the chest. He then entered the hospital and continued firing, Gray said.
The two had been talking to each other in what Gray said did not appear to be a heated exchange.
“Then once she fell to the ground, he stood over her and shot her three more times,” he said.