Suspected gunman dead and four critical after shooting at Chicago hospital

Police converge on scene after officer shot and critically injured

Mercy Hospital in Chicago, where a shooting has taken place on Monday afternoon. File photograph: Google Street View

Mercy Hospital in Chicago, where a shooting has taken place on Monday afternoon. File photograph: Google Street View

 

Police officers converged on a hospital just south of downtown Chicago on Monday afternoon after authorities received reports of a shooting there. One officer was shot and critically injured, a police spokesman said. At least one assailant was also shot, he added.

Dozens of officers were sent to the area and were conducting a methodical search of Mercy Hospital, said the spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi.

He called on the public to stay away from the area, around Michigan Avenue and 26th Street.

Clarence Smith, a hospital employee, was working in the emergency room Monday afternoon when “we were told something happened terrible outside”.

“Our first goal was to start grabbing patients out of the rooms,” Mr Smith, still dressed in scrubs, said outside the hospital.

He said he evacuated four patients, including one in a wheelchair. One patient who was leaving allowed another patient to get in his car and escape.

Mr Smith described the scene as “chaos”.

“It was a scary situation bringing them out,” Smith said. “CPD was doing their job,” he said, referring to the police officers. “You don’t know if the active shooter is down the hall or not. You had to put the blinders on and just keep moving forward, and that’s what I did.”

Mr Smith said he knew such shootings were possible from watching them unfold on the news in other cities.

But, he added: “There’s really nothing that can prepare you for this.”

Around the hospital, streets were shut down for several blocks in all directions. Scores of police cars, marked and unmarked, filled the neighborhood, along with fire trucks and ambulances. As the afternoon wore on, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was monitoring events from public safety headquarters with Eddie Johnson, the police superintendent, Mr Emanuel’s spokesman said.

New York Times