A doctor unleashed the panic within a New York hospital today by making multiple shots that caused one dead and six wounded, before committing suicide with one assault rifle that used for the attack.
The attacker, who was identified by the media as Henry Bello, 45, was a former employee of the hospital who two years ago resigned or had been fired from that medical center, which he returned today to unleash the chaos.
“Thank God it was not an act of terrorism,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters in front of the Bronx-Lebanon Bronx-Lebanon hospital shooting site.
With information that is still preliminary, authorities rebuilt the shooting, which affected several hospital floors. Several units had to be evicted to try to contain the author of the shots.
The attacker, armed with an assault rifle, entered the hospital at 14.55 local time (18.55 GMT) and, dressed in a white coat, went to the 17 silver of the building, where he began shooting.
The bullets killed a female doctor who was not identified, as well as five seriously injured and one with less severe injuries who were shot in the leg, according to New York Police Chief James O’Neill.
“A doctor has died and several more are fighting for his life,” the New York mayor told reporters, without being allowed questions to learn more details of the events.
The bomber was found dead on the 17th floor of the building by a bullet wound that, according to O’Neill, is believed to be caused by himself.
“The author of the shots fired himself not without first causing horrible damages,” said the mayor.
Apparently, the attacker tried to generate a fire inside the building, but the devices of the system against fire it annulled.
But that attempt forced fire crews to act inside the hospital along with police officers.
“It went from normal (hospital) activities to horror in a matter of seconds,” said the New York mayor.
The alert for this event spread quickly through the city for the fear that it was a terrorist attack.
Although the shootings in New York are frequent, the fact that the shots were made with an assault rifle and for no apparent reason unleashed all the alarms.
Witnesses consulted by Efe reported the scenes of panic that occurred during the attack.
One of them, Miguel Mercado, who had arrived at the hospital and was waiting for an MRI, noticed the unexpected arrival of policemen and the nurse who was taking care of him asked to evacuate the hospital.
“When I got to the 2nd floor I saw there was blood on the floor and lots of water,” he said. “They took us all out,” the patient said.
The hospital system alerted immediately to the “silver code”, which indicates that inside the building was an armed person, which forced extreme security measures and to evict certain units.
“A nurse told me, ‘Be still, there’s a man shooting,'” Rafe Cotto, who was in a pediatric unit on the first floor of the hospital, accompanied her granddaughter.
“I heard the fire alarm and then the police came and went checking it quarter by quarter,” added Cotto.
The district where the attack occurred has a strong presence of neighbors of the Latino community.
Extensive areas of the area were cordoned off by security services, and around the hospital were dozens of police vehicles and ambulances, as well as numerous onlookers.