Witness describes frantic scene at Mercy Hospital shooting: ‘She asked us not to leave her alone’

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CHICAGO — An eyewitness to Monday's Mercy Hospital shooting watched a gunman kill his former fiancée outside the hospital where she worked.

"The guy comes really quickly from behind the van and just pulls out a gun and shoots her six times before she even hits the ground," said the witness, who asked not to be named.

He was sitting in a van full of nursing home patients when the scene began to unfold outside Mercy Hospital and Medical Center at 2525 S. Michigan Ave. about 3:30 p.m. Monday. The witness said a woman —later identified as Dr. Tamara O’Neal — ran from the hospital and asked for help.

"She got on the phone, and she was trying to call the police," the witness said. "She asked us not to leave her alone because he is going to kill her."

At that point, the witness said, a man, later identified as 32-year-old Juan Lopez, approached and demanded the woman give him a ring. She said she didn't have it, according to the witness. O’Neal started to run back toward the hospital to get a security officer. That's when the man reemerged with a gun.

The witness said the man fired off six shots before O’Neal even hit the ground.

The van full of nursing home patients soon drove off and headed toward the exit just as police entered the parking lot.

"He started firing in our direction and at the cops," the witness said.

Ultimately, the gunman killed three people Monday: O'Neal, Chicago police Officer Samuel Jimenez and pharmaceutical resident Dayna Less. Lopez was also shot to death. Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Monday said it wasn't immediately clear whether he was killed by police or his own hand.

For more information on the shooting and victims, click here.


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