What to Know
- A victim of the shooting rampage that took place at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in June 2017 filed a lawsuit against the hospital and a gun shop
- Justin Timperio alleges the gun dealer did not conduct an adequate background check and the hospital lacked security, among other claims
- Timperio was a first year medical resident when Henry Bello, a doctor and former employee of the hospital went on a shooting rampage in 2017
One of the victims of the shooting rampage that took place at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in June 2017 filed a lawsuit against the hospital and a gun dealer for negligence that allegedly contributed to the fatal shooting.
Justin Timperio, who was a first-year medical resident when he was shot by Henry Bello, alleges in his lawsuit that the gun dealer did not conduct an adequate background check and that Bronx-Lebanon Hospital lacked sufficient security.
Timperio was seriously wounded when Bello, a doctor and former Bronx-Lebanon Hospital employee, entered the hospital on June 30, 2017, and started shooting a AR-15 rifle. Bello killed a doctor and wounded five members of the medical staff and a patient before taking his own life.
According to the lawsuit, Timperio suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen, which exited his right thigh and required surgical procedures and treatment at Bronx-Lebanon and Mt. Sinai Hospital from June 30 to July 21, 2017.
The lawsuit, filed Feb. 28, alleges that there was a lack of security at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital despite red flags that were raised over previous years, which included a 2011 incident when an alleged gang member fired several gun shots that wounded both a nurse and a security guard.
The lawsuit also alleges that the hospital was negligent in not conducting a proper background check on Bello, which would have allegedly revealed issues with "Bello's medical credentials, past employment, and anti-social and criminal history," according to the lawsuit.
"I'm not angry at Bello, he was mentally ill," Timperio said in a statement. "If anything, this just makes me want to be a better doctor. But why would the hospital hire someone with Bello's well-known issues and record? Nobody should get shot in what should be the safe environment of a hospital."
While an employee of Bronx-Lebanon, Bello was accused of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct by a female employee, the lawsuit says. Despite the accusations, Bello was allowed to continue to work at the hospital until he was terminated, but the lawsuit alleges that Bronx-Lebanon never reported the accusations against Bello to law enforcement.
The lawsuit also says that the hospital never retrieved Bello's hospital identification card and property, which allowed him access to the premises.
"Bello was a murderer on a deranged mission, and because of the hospital's ineffective security system and the negligence on their part, he was allowed to go on a shooting spree that cost one person their life and five others to be wounded, wounds that they endure almost a year later," Arnold Kriss, Timperio’s attorney, said in a statement.
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital did not respond to NBC 4's request for comment by deadline.
The lawsuit also alleges that Upstate Guns and Ammo LLC in Schenectady, New York, a gun shop that sold Bello the AR-15 used in the shooting failed to conduct, as required by law, a background check, which included contacting the NYPD to determine if Bello was issued a rifle permit. As a New York City resident, Bello was required to have a NYPD rifle permit to own an AR-15 rifle, according to the lawsuit.
NBC 4 reached out to Upstate Guns and Ammo. In an email, Michael Murphy, attorney for the gun shop, declined to comment.
In addition, the lawsuit also claims that Timpario spent 10 days after the shooting at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in a coma, but no one notified his family. Upon learning his family had not been contacted, Dr. Timperio suffered further additional stress and emotional strain, the lawsuit says.
Timperio alleges his medical career was also impacted by his inability to continue his first year of residency. In addition to his physical injuries, the lawsuit alleges Timperio suffered post traumatic emotional distress.