Two Purdue graduates among dead in Chicago hospital shooting

A 2002 and a 2018 graduate of Purdue University are among the dead in a shooting at a Chicago hospital Monday

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 6:13 AM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 5:49 PM

CHICAGO (AP/WLFI) — A 2002 and a 2018 graduate of Purdue University are among the dead in a shooting at a Chicago hospital Monday. A Purdue spokesperson confirmed to News 18 that 25-year-old Dayna Less was a 2018 graduate in the College of Pharmacy, and Tamera O'Neal recieved an undergraduate Psychology degree in 2002.

Related: Purdue College of Pharmacy remembers Dayna Less

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels released the following statement:

"We are proud of Tamara and Dayna for the lives of service they chose to pursue. We are deeply grateful and admiring of officer Jimenez for his sacrificial bravery that spared other innocent lives."

A gunman opened fire Monday at a Chicago hospital, killing Less, O'Neal, and a police officer after a domestic dispute exploded into a firefight with SWAT team members inside the medical center. The suspect was also dead, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear if the attacker took his own life or was killed by police at Mercy Hospital on the city’s South Side, police said.

“The city of Chicago lost a doctor, pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer, all going about their day, all doing what they loved,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, fighting back tears. “This just tears at the soul of our city. It is the face and a consequence of evil.”

Mercy Hospital said the staff who died were Tamara O’Neal, 38, an emergency room physician who never worked on Sunday because of her religious faith, and Less, a first year pharmacy resident who had recently graduated from Purdue University.

The slain officer was identified as Samuel Jimenez, 28, who joined the department in February 2017 and had recently completed his probationary period, Johnson said. Police said he was married and the father of three children.

The identity of the gunman was not immediately released.

A witness named James Gray told reporters that it looked as if the attacker “was turning and shooting people at random.”

The shooting apparently began as the suspect was walking with a woman near a parking lot. He turned and repeatedly shot the woman in the chest. He then entered the hospital and continued firing, Gray said.

The two had been talking to each other in what Gray said did not appear to be a heated exchange.

“Then once she fell to the ground, he stood over her and shot her three more times,” he said.

Earlier, authorities reported that four people were in critical condition, including the officer. At least one of the four was a hospital employee, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Television footage showed several people, including some wearing white coats, walking through a parking lot with their arms up.

Jennifer Eldridge was working in a hospital pharmacy when she heard three or four shots that seemed to come from outside. Within seconds, she barricaded the door, as called for in the building’s active shooter drills. Then there were six or seven more shots, now much closer, just outside the door.

“I could tell he was now inside the lobby. There was screaming,” she recalled.

The door jiggled, which Eldridge believed was the shooter trying to get in. Some 15 minutes later, she estimated, a SWAT team officer knocked at the door, came in and led her away. She looked down and saw blood on the floor but no bodies.

“It may have been 15 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity,” she told a reporter.

Maria Correa hid under a desk, clutching her 4-month-old son, Angel, while the violence unfolded. Correa was in the waiting area of the hospital for her mother-in-law’s doctor appointment when a hospital employee told them to lock themselves in offices.

She lost track of how many shots she heard while she waited under the desk, “trying to protect her son,” for 10 to 15 minutes.

“They were the worst minutes of our lives,” Correa, a Chicago resident, said.

Dennis Burke, who lives across the street from the hospital, was getting off the bus when he heard six gunshots and saw officers nearby with their guns drawn.

“I dropped my groceries,” Burke said. He ducked behind the bus for cover and watched as 50 to 100 people poured out of the hospital, including a victim on a stretcher.

People “were helping each other over the fence, trying to get away,” Burke said. “People were running across the street, right past me — everybody from doctors to what looked like patients, people of all ages.”

A message left for hospital officials was not immediately returned.

Mercy has a rich history as the city’s first chartered hospital. It began in 1852, when the Sisters of Mercy religious group converted a rooming house. During the Civil War, the hospital treated both Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners of war, according to its website.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 54°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 60°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Williamsport
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 57°
Delphi
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 53°
Monticello
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 53°
Logansport
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 55°
Cloudy, windy and cooler
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1003647

Reported Deaths: 16423
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1351072116
Lake661851159
Allen57674800
Hamilton46217464
St. Joseph44210611
Elkhart35807508
Vanderburgh32162480
Tippecanoe27859258
Johnson25007444
Hendricks23795357
Porter22856365
Madison18694408
Clark18505252
Vigo17393303
Monroe15218199
LaPorte15101250
Delaware15024261
Howard14681289
Kosciusko12260147
Hancock11682175
Bartholomew11548180
Warrick11270189
Floyd11059214
Wayne10946253
Grant10019219
Morgan9438176
Boone8891116
Dubois8249131
Dearborn819893
Henry8174152
Noble8003106
Marshall7891135
Cass7519121
Lawrence7433171
Shelby7171119
Jackson695889
Gibson6567115
Harrison646691
Huntington636899
Knox6360106
DeKalb628699
Montgomery6229109
Miami591498
Putnam577678
Clinton572171
Whitley563455
Steuben558976
Wabash5309103
Jasper527879
Jefferson509297
Ripley498686
Adams479775
Daviess4653114
Scott438473
Greene423596
Wells422588
Clay421360
White417364
Decatur4152102
Fayette405787
Jennings385961
Posey375844
Washington356150
LaGrange356078
Randolph343499
Spencer338743
Fountain333860
Sullivan327852
Starke315570
Owen313970
Fulton309167
Orange292663
Jay283445
Franklin265143
Perry264852
Rush260832
Carroll260633
Vermillion257254
Parke230426
Pike228443
Tipton227259
Blackford191841
Pulaski183157
Crawford159023
Newton156848
Benton150217
Brown145747
Martin138019
Switzerland134811
Warren120816
Union107016
Ohio84213
Unassigned0540

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events