Pandemonium reigned at a Chicago South Side hospital Monday afternoon when a gunman opened fire, killing three people.
According to ABC 7, police say the attack began when 32-year-old Juan Lopez went to Mercy Hospital to confront his former fiance, 38-year-old emergency room physician Tamara O'Neal, and demand her engagement ring back.
An argument ensued in the hospital parking lot and Lopez reportedly shot O’Neal multiple times, killing her, according to the Chicago Tribune. Lopez then stormed into the hospital and killed a 25-year-old hospital pharmacy technician before shooting to death a 28-year-old Chicago police officer who was responding, Fox News reported.
The gunman died during a firefight with police — whether by his own hand or not, it’s unsure. He was found with a 9mm pistol.
Lopez was a graduate student who had tried to become a Chicago firefighter but had been disciplined for “bullying” female cadets and was dismissed after not showing up anymore. He reportedly threatened to shoot up the fire academy as well as the hospital. His ex-wife had a protection order out against him and said he was an abusive man who had drawn his gun on people before.
But amidst all the horror and bloodshed on Monday was a story of miraculous survival.
The Chicago Police Department shared a photos of another one of its officers who was shot in the hip. The bullet did not reach his body, according to FOX 32. The photos clearly show a shattered holster and a police-issued Smith & Wesson with a bullet embedded right into the side of it.
The officer who was killed, Jimenez, had a wife and three kids. Dozens of officers stood along the sides of the road and saluted the ambulance that took his body away, according to ABC 7. A procession of hundreds of first responders later honored him.
The young pharmacy technician who was killed was working her first year on the job. Dayna Less was scheduled to spend Thanksgiving with her family this week and was making wedding plans for next year. She appeared to have been shot at random after she exited an elevator.
Our prayers go out to the families of the fallen, and our gratitude goes out to the first responders who stopped the attack before more lives could be senselessly ended.