NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The gunman who opened fire inside Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, killing a female doctor and wounding six other victims before turning the gun on himself has been identified as Dr. Henry Bello, a former hospital employee.
Sources tell CBS2 he resigned in 2015 amid allegations of sexual harassment. He previously worked in family medicine.
Bello was also arrested in 2004 for allegedly groping a woman in Manhattan, sources say.
Bello entered the hospital wearing what looked like a white lab coat, hiding an AR15 rifle underneath.
Sources say the 45-year-old was searching for one employee before opening fire.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Bello apparently tried to set himself on fire, then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Witness Dione Morales, who said she has been coming to the hospital for 17 years, told CBS2’s Valerie Castro that Bello was let go “because I guess they figured he was unstable.”
“He said he was going to do this,” she said. “It was said that he said he was going to kill people two years ago when he was let go – two years.”
“Now look what happened,” she added.
CBS2’s Erin Logan spoke with residents near Bello’s last known address on East 2nd Street in the East Village. Some said they recognized him, others did not.
Sources say Bello hasn’t been in town for about a year and was living in California. He just made his way back to the area earlier this week.
One man who has lived in the neighborhood for eight to nine years said he recognized Bello and couldn’t believe the news.
“When things like that do happen, it hits you right at home where you’re like holy smokes, wow,” he said. “By far he does not look like the type of person – all the more reason why it should be more scary.”
Sources Bello had a limited permit to practice as an international medical graduate student and was working in family practice – in effect from 2014 to 2016.
A former neighbor, who did not want to show her face, said she last saw him around that time and was shocked to hear about this tragic afternoon.
“Would never expect something like that from him,” she said. “He was a nice guy — really sweet, really helpful, always happy.”
Sources say Bello was upset after leaving the hospital, alleging racism and discrimination.
Late Friday evening, detectives were spending some time talking to people who may have known Bello while he was living in the East 2nd Street building, while everyone was just trying to make sense of it all.