A doctor who lost his job at a New York City hospital opened fire with an assault rifle inside the building on Friday (June 30), killing one female physician and wounding six other people, police said.
The gunman then set himself on fire and shot himself in the head.
The rampage at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital is not being treated as an act of terrorism and appears to be workplace related, said Bill De Blasio, the mayor of New York.
US media, citing police sources, identified the gunman as Dr. Henry Bello, 45, working in family medicine. He was reportedly accused of sexual harassment at the workplace and left his job in February.
Police said Dr. Bello entered the hospital with an AR-15 rifle concealed in his white lab coat and started shooting at staff. He then apparently tried to set himself on fire before turning the gun on himself.
One woman was found dead at the scene. Six more victims were taken to the hospital’s emergency room, said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. Five of them were seriously injured, the sixth had a gunshot wound to the leg.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the doctor who passed away and we’re, in both our hearts and our prayers, standing in solidarity with the families of all those who are wounded and all those who are fighting for their lives right now,” De Blasio told reporters.
The blaze set by the gunman activated the hospital’s fire alarm system, halting elevator services and hampering the emergency response, O’Neill said.
One ambulance worker told local television he and his partner had to carry a wounded and bleeding man down nine flights of stairs to safety. De Blasio praised what he called “many acts of heroism” amidst the rampage.
Bronx-Lebanon hospital, about 1.6 km north of Yankee Stadium, describes itself as the largest voluntary, non-profit health care system serving the South and Central Bronx, as well as among the largest providers of outpatient services in New York City.