Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
A doctor with a rifle hidden under a lab coat has shot dead a female physician and seriously wounded six other doctors before trying to set himself on fire and turning the gun on himself at a Bronx hospital.
Dr Henry Bello, a family physician, opened fire at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital where he used to work at about 2.45pm on Friday.
The 45-year-old gunman was hiding a high-powered assault rifle under his white medical coat and had his ID card on him when he started the shooting spree on the 16th and 17th floors of the hospital, police sources say.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill confirmed that the shooter died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the building.
The shooter had tried to set himself on fire prior to fatally shooting himself. He staggered, bleeding, into a hallway where he collapsed and died with the rifle at his side.
The body of the female victim, believed to be a doctor, was found next to the shooter on the 17th floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Five of the victims were seriously injured in the shooting rampage and one victim is being treated for a gunshot wound to their leg.
First image: Dr Henry Bello, 45, has been named as the deceased gunman who carried out a deadly attack at his former place of work, the Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Friday afternoon
Six people were shot at Bronx Lebanon Hospital after a former employee dressed as a physician opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle. First responders are seen with stretchers outside the entrance
A woman is escorted by officers in plainclothes near the Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York Friday
A woman is escorted by officers near the Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York after a gunman opened fire there
The incident unfolded at around 2.45pm at the medical center on Grand Concourse in the Morris Heights section of The Bronx
Bello had been a family medicine physician at the hospital. Law enforcement officials say he was allowed to resign from the hospital in 2015 amid sexual harassment allegations. The details of the allegations were not immediately clear.
CBS New York reported that Bello was fired two years ago for harassing an employee. He reportedly went to the hospital to find the employee before opening fire on his former colleagues.
Witness Dione Morales, who has been a patient at the hospital for 17 years, told CBS New York the shooter had threatened to kill people back when he was fired.
'He was let go because I guess they figured he was unstable. He said he was going to do this,' she said. 'He said he was going to kill people, two years ago when he was let go - two years... and now look what happened.'
Details about Bello's criminal past emerged following the deadly shooting.
In unrelated cases, the doctor had been arrested in 2004 on a charge of sexual abuse after a 23-year-old woman told police Bello grabbed her, lifted her up and carried her off, saying, 'you're coming with me.' He was arrested again in 2009 on a charge of unlawful surveillance, after two different women reported he was trying to look up their skirts with a mirror.
According to New York State Education Department records, Bello had a limited permit to practice as an international medical graduate to gain experience in order to be licensed. The permit was issued on July 1, 2014, and expired last year on the same day.
A former colleague described Bello as a problematic employee.
Bello 'was very aggressive, talking loudly, threatening people. All the time he was a problem,' said Dr. David Lazala, a family medicine doctor who said he trained Bello at Bronx Lebanon.
He said Bello, who worked at night as a doctor, sent him a threatening email after Bello was fired.
Heavily armed police patrol the scene outside the hospital after the gunman opened fire on Friday afternoon
Police sources say the gunman was hiding the high-powered weapon under his lab coat before the attack on the 16th floor of the hospital
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was not related to terrorism and appeared to be a workplace incident
Police gather outside Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York afterthe shooting rampage
Incident began unfolding at around 2.45pm at the medical center on Grand Concourse
Officers carrying assault-style rifles are posted outside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital where a former employee stages a deadly rampage
Hospital employees barricaded themselves in hospital rooms by stacking furniture up against the doors during the lockdown
The gunman hid a high-powered rifle inside his lab coat before launching the attack
Dr Bello is believed to have lived in this New York City apartment building
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was not related to terrorism and appeared to be an isolated workplace incident.
'One doctor is dead and several doctors are fighting for their lives right now,' de Blasio said.
'The shooter killed himself but not before doing horrible damage. Our hearts go out to the family of the doctor who passed away.
'This was a horrific situation unfolding in a place associated with care and comfort.'
Authorities described a chaotic scene at Bronx Lebanon Hospital as gunfire erupted, spreading terror throughout the hospital as employees locked themselves inside rooms and patients feared for their lives.
Shortly after receiving a 911 call about an active shooter, police officers went floor by floor, their guns drawn, looking for the gunman.
An FDNY official told the New York Times at least three of the shooting victims were doctors.
Bello may have doused himself with an accelerant like gasoline and tried to set himself on fire before shooting himself, officials said. Sprinklers extinguished the fire.
Police described the suspect in a radio transmission as a tall, thin man in a blue shirt and a white lab coat.
Television images showed the hospital surrounded by police cars and fire trucks. Police could be seen on the roof of the building, at one point, with their guns drawn.
Emergency crews had been kept from going inside the hospital while the shooter was at large.
Employees and their loved ones described the horrifying moments as they scrambled for information.
Garry Trimble said his wife, hospital employee Denise Brown, called him from inside the hospital shortly after 3pm.
'She woke me up and told me there was a situation, somebody's out there shooting people,' Trimble said as he waited for his wife to come out. 'I could hear in her voice she was shaking and about to cry.'
A heavy police presence is seen outside the hospital a short time after the shooting
Police cars are seen parked outside the hospital on Grand Concourse during the active shooter situation
Armed officers with a dog are on the scene in The Bronx Friday afternoon
Fire Department rescue workers head towards the scene after the inside the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in New York City
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center describes itself as the largest voluntary, not-for-profit health care system in the south and central Bronx
Gonzalo Carazo described the scary scene to WCBS-TV. 'I saw one of the doctors and he had a gunshot wound to his hand,' Carazo said.
'All I heard was a doctor saying, 'Help, help!'' Carazo locked himself in a room for about 15 minutes until police came and led him out of the hospital.
'I thought I was going to die,' said Renaldo Del Villar, a 55-year-old patient who was in the third-floor emergency room getting treatment for a lower back injury.
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center describes itself as the largest voluntary, not-for-profit health care system in the south and central Bronx.
The 120-year-old hospital claims nearly 1,000 beds spread across multiple units. Its emergency room is among the busiest in New York City.
The hospital is about a mile and a half north of Yankee Stadium.
In 2011, two people were shot at Bronx Lebanon in what police said was a gang-related attack.