Chicago physician, pharmacy resident killed in hospital shooting: 4 things to know

Two of the at least four individuals killed during a shooting at Chicago-based Mercy Hospital & Medical Center Nov. 19 were an emergency room physician and a first-year pharmacy resident, USA Today reports.

Here are four things to know:

1. Tamara O'Neal, MD, an ER physician at the hospital, was fatally shot outside Mercy Hospital on her way in to work by the alleged gunman, 32-year-old Juan Lopez. Police said the shooting, which took place around 3:30 p.m., was spurred by a domestic altercation, as Mr. Lopez and Dr. O'Neal had previously been engaged, according CBS 2 News.

"She loved the action [of the medical field]. She was in on a whole bunch of high-profile cases where people were shot and we'd see it on the news and she'd be treating the victims," Dr. O'Neal's father, Tom O'Neal, told the Chicago Sun-Times Nov. 20. "She always went after what she really wanted in life."

2. Patrick Connor, MD, chief of emergency medicine at Mercy, said during a press conference Nov. 19 that Dr. O'Neal grew up in Portage, Ind., and that the 38-year-old physician was "simply one of the most fascinating, hard-working people." Dr. O'Neal graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago before working at the hospital, according to CBS 2 News.

3. Chicago police officer Samuel Jimenez and pharmacy resident Dayna Less, PharmD, were also killed in the shooting. Ms. Less was reportedly shot as she walked out of an elevator, USA Today reports.

4. Ms. Less, a 25-year-old recent graduate of West Lafayette, Ind.-based Purdue University, had begun working at the hospital in July, Dr. Connor said, according to BBC News.

"She had a wonderful life. She was the strongest person I know," Brian Less, Ms. Less' father, told the Chicago Tribune Nov. 20. "She was a fighter."

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to Mercy Hospital & Medical Center for comment and will update as more information becomes available.

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