What to Know
A gunman shot seven people inside Bronx Lebanon Hospital, one of them fatally; the killed victim is a female doctor, sources say
The gunman has been identified as Dr. Henry Michael Bello, a former doctor at the hospital who resigned in 2015
People in the hospital described panic and terror as they either fled or barricaded themselves in rooms in the hospital
The staff of Bronx Lebanon Hospital had to face unimaginable horror Friday after authorities say a former employee wearing a medical coat and carrying his old badge sneaked into the building and opened fire with a rifle.
When they saw their coworkers and friends being shot, staff members jumped into action, treating the wounded and helping lead others to safety.
Inside the hospital on Friday afternoon, a code silver went out, meaning a gunman was in the building. Moments later, administrator Diana Cruz saw a friend and colleague.
“It was a wounded physician who I know very well,” she said. “We helped him, we secured where his wounds were.”
With their own lives at risk, doctors, nurses and staff did what they do every day — they treated the wounded.
“It was auto-pilot,” Cruz said. “We automatically did — there was no time to think, although there was an active shooter.”
Dr. Sridhar Chilimuri and his staff were working to save the lives friends and colleagues, unsure if the shooter was down.
“I was one of the physicians who actually went upstairs to evacuate patients. It’s extraordinarily difficult,” he said. “People are emotional, but they have to move fast — but there are cops everywhere with guns drawn.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the staff, including Denise Brown, were on lockdown. Brown said she and the others turned on the news to see if the shooter was still active. That’s when she saw her worried husband, Garry Trimble, being interviewed live at street level.
“Everybody just started clapping and applauding, like he really loves you, and I know he does,” Brown said.
Brown and Trimble were later reunited on camera.
Late on Friday, staff were reunited with their families and continued to treat their wounded coworkers after what had been one of their toughest days on the job.
“Your adrenaline pumping, we just did what we needed to do,” Diana Cruz said. “We’re health care professionals.”
Grief counselors are being provided for hospital staff.