CHICAGO (CBS) — A solemn night as Chicago’s police department said farewell to one of their own: Samuel Jimenez was killed confronting a rampaging gunman at Mercy Hospital on Monday.
“It’s been a very difficult day not just for the Chicago Police Department but for the city of Chicago,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a news conference with details of the shooting at Mercy Hospital that left Jimenez and three others dead.
Late Monday, the flash of countless blue lights from squad cars transported Jimenez’s body to the medical examiners office. The 28-year-old was a husband, and a father of three.
He had recently completed his 18-month probationary period and was now a full fledged officer assigned to the Second District. He and his partner were patrolling near Mercy hospital when calls rang out about the emergency unfolding there.
“Before 3:00 Monday afternoon at Mercy (Hospital) (there was) a verbal altercation in parking lot between individuals who knew there each other. There was a third person who was a friend that friend attempted to intervene at that time our offender the male lifted up shirt and displayed a handgun,” Johnson said.
He said that the acquaintance fled into the hospital.
Johnson said the suspect engaged officers inside the hospital and shots were fired. A female staff member was fatally wounded by the suspect as well as the offender. It is not clear whether authorities killed the suspect or whether he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The deceased include Officer Jimenez, a relative newcomer to the force, the offender and two women who worked at Mercy Hospital.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented on the loss of Officer Jimenez and the others killed in the hospital shooting.
“The city of Chicago lost a doctor, a pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer all going about their day, all doing what they love,” Emanuel said. “This tears at the soul of the city in the face and consequence of evil.”
Johnson said the offender, later identified as Lopez, confronted Dr. Tamara O’Neal in the parking lot and shot her to death.
“Everyone one of use will celebrate time with our family at the holidays,” Emanuel said. “I ask each of us, our loved ones, hold our children closer, remember what is important in life and that there are others who are part of our larger family who will have a tear and will always have a scar.”
Kevin Graham from the Fraternal Order of Police said the department lost a “valued brother and courageous officer.”
Johnson said Jimenez and his partner were working elsewhere when they left to help at Mercy Hospital.
“Those officers who responded saved a lot of lives. That poor woman getting off the elevator, he shot her. Why? All who responded they saved lives,” Johnson said. “We don’t know how much damage he was prepared to do.”