NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A female doctor is dead after a gunman opened fire at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Friday afternoon.
The physician killed during the rampage has been identified as 32-year-old Tracy Sin-Yee Tam, of Jamaica, Queens.READ MORE: NYPD: Man Armed With Box Cutter Robbing Grocery Stores In Queens
Dr.Tam was killed exactly a year after graduating from her residency, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported. Friends said becoming a doctor was her dream so she could support her mother and younger sister.
“It’s very unfortunate that this tragedy happened to her, because she was such a nice person,” hospital employee Marc DuPlessy said. “But I guess god just wanted angels.”
“She cared about her patients, cared about her job,” he added.
Dr. Tam was covering another doctor’s shift when she was killed, WCBS 880’s Myles Miller reported.
“People come into work not knowing if it’s going to be their last day,” fellow coworker Denise Johnson said.
One of her coworkers has set up a GoFundMe account for her family.
On Saturday, the NYPD released a photo of the rifle the suspect used to shoot seven people before killing himself.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, a place that is supposed to provide comfort turned into what many described Friday as a war-zone. First responders ducked for cover as patients filed from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital wearing bed sheets.
Inside, patients used whatever they could find to barricade the doors.
Police scanner audio from Broadcastify.com reported multiple people shot in the hospital by a suspect armed with a rifle.
Cops first got the call just before 3 p.m. Friday when a former employee, identified as Dr. Henry Bello, allegedly returned to his old job hiding an AM-15 rifle under a white lab jacket.
“Several people had been shot on the 16th and 17th floors by a lone gunman armed with an assault rifle,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Friday.
Shirley Brown said she was visiting her friend, a patient, on the 16th floor of the hospital when she saw Bello walking around with his rifle. First, she said she thought it was a joke because he was dressed like a doctor.READ MORE: Man Spit On, Punched After Confronting Suspect About Smoking On Subway, Police Say
But then she heard the first of many gunshots.
“It took one for me to run,” she tells CBS2’s Ali Bauman. “Heard the pop, seen the smoke, smelled the smoke — this is real.”
Brown sent her mother a text message, saying “someone is shooting on this floor. In case I don’t make it out, I love you.”
Authorities say he shot seven people, one fatally. One witness said it looked like he was targeting his former co-workers.
Grief counselors from the NYPD and the hospital itself were working Saturday with the staff and patients who were traumatized from the shooting.
“I think yesterday everyone did what they had to do, and today it is sinking in,” one hospital officials said.
Of the six victims injured, one was a patient. The other five were either doctors or medical students.
The most critical victim was transferred to Mt. Sinai Medical Center for advanced surgery.
Sunday morning hospital staff gave an update on the victims’ conditions.
“Three have been downgraded to stable, and doing quite well. We are happy with their condition,” the hospital official said. “One particular patient is still critical.”
Sources tell CBS2 Bello was searching for a specific doctor, who wasn’t there at the time. He then started shooting at others, yelling out “why didn’t you help me out when I was getting in trouble?”
Sources also say Bello started two fires, one at the nurse’s station and another as an attempt to set himself ablaze. He ended up shooting himself in a room, then staggered out to the hallway where he died.
Hospital spokesperson Errol Schneer described Bello as “an individual employed by the hospital as a house physician in August 2014.”
Bello resigned in February 2015 in lieu of termination, according to Schneer.
Sources say Bello made it known he felt discriminated against while working at the hospital. One longtime patient says there were rumors he wanted to kill people after he resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
“He said he was going to do this two years ago when they fired him, he said he was going to kill people,” Dionne Morales told CBS2 Friday. “I didn’t hear him say that amongst us, I know he said it and he did it.”MORE NEWS: Police: Woman Stabs Man In Back After Argument At Queens Park
Police continue to investigate the rampage. The New York Daily News reports Bello sent them an email before the shooting, where he wrote about leaving his job at the hospital.