NEW YORK — A former doctor opened fire with an assault rifle Friday inside a New York City hospital where he used to work, killing a woman and wounding six people before turning the gun on himself, law enforcement officials said.
Police officers found the gunman, who was wearing a white lab coat and carrying ID, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the 17th floor of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at a news briefing.
The shooter was identified as Dr. Henry Bello, who previously worked at the hospital, two law enforcement officials told CNN. Details about when he worked at the hospital and his duties were not immediately released.
The body of a woman was found close to the gunman’s body, O’Neill said. The woman’s name was not immediately released.
Six people were wounded on the 16th floor, and five of those are in serious condition from gunshot wounds, O’Neill said Friday afternoon. He said several of the wounded were doctors at the hospital and some were fighting for their lives.
The hospital’s fire alarm system went off during the siege, apparently because the shooter tried to set himself on fire, O’Neill said.
So far authorities have not offered a motive. The FBI said the shooting did not appear to be an act of terrorism. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called it an act of work-related violence.
The shooting started a little before 3 p.m. ET at the 972-bed hospital, one of the largest providers of outpatient services in New York.
Video images from the scene showed hospital employees and others coming out of the hospital’s main entrance, their hands in the air, and crossing the street toward awaiting police officers.
Scenes from the hospital
Krystal Rivera, a 23-year-old patient at the hospital, said she was with her hospital roommate, a visitor and a nurse from the floor when they heard gunshots.
“I barricaded the door with an IV machine, two chairs and my whole bed,” Rivera said.
The visitor looked out and saw a man wearing a green top and a white lab coat and saw that he had a rifle, she said.
In an Instagram video, patient Francisco Bodon said he was stranded in a hot hospital room.
“Here in the room three nurses are hiding in the bathroom. We haven’t been able to leave … We have a little water at least. I’m hiding here with an injured hand and I had leg surgery. The nurses are hiding and they’re telling me to keep my voice down. When will this end?”
“Why do people do these stupid things? People don’t think,” Bodon said. “There is no air conditioning. It’s hot. I hope they got him.”
Hospitals have been the site of active shooting situations in recent years.
In January 2015, a patient’s family member shot and killed cardiac surgeon Michael Davidson before the shooter killed himself at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
And in Florida last July, a man entered a patient’s room and opened fire, killing an elderly female patient and a female hospital worker, police said. A suspect was taken into custody.