Victims of Chicago Mercy Hospital shooting have ties to Michiana

NOW: Victims of Chicago Mercy Hospital shooting have ties to Michiana


SOUTH BEND, Ind. --More information is coming to light about the domestic dispute that lead to the shooting deaths of three people at Chicago's Mercy Hospital. 

The victims' family and friends are now beginning the grieving process.

The investigation is still ongoing, but police revealed it all began as a domestic dispute between Juan Lopez and his ex-fiancee Dr. Tamara O'Neal. 

An argument in the parking lot of the hospital turned violent at 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Those victims now serve as a reminder of the larger impact of domestic violence.

Officer Samuel Jimenez is one of the victims. Chicago Police say he didn't normally work in that area, but responded when he heard that shots were fired.

He ran into the fire, CPD tweeted.

"This is a very sad, impossible day. For all of us. For the police officers, for the doctor, for Mercy Hospital," Brian Less, Dayna Less' father. "For everyone. For family, extended family and friends."

Less was a pharmacy resident, who was eager to sign a second year residency at Mercy Hospital

She was planning her June wedding. 

Her father was in tears during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

He noted the bravery of the officers who did everything they could to protect people inside of the hospital. 

"I want to thank god for the Chicago Police Department and the police officer who laid down his life to protect others at Mercy Hospital," Less says. "If it wasn't for them, you may be doing 20 press conferences instead of 1,2, or 3."

Dr. Tamara O'Neal was an emergency room physician with ties to Michiana.

On Facebook, people have been noting her kindness and helpfulness during their own treatments at St. Anthony's Hospital in Michigan City.

A family friend told me they're in complete shock.

Robert Blaszkiewicz, a spokesman for Franciscan Health says:

"Dr. O'Neal was well liked by everyone on our medical and nursing staffs while she was here. She was very kind and Christian-focused in her approach as an ER doctor. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends. It's tremendously painful to lose a promising young physician in such a tragic way."

O'Neal was also a graduate of La Porte High School. 

They released the following statement:

"The La Porte Community School Corporation is saddened regarding the loss of one of our former students Tamara O'Neal, class of 1998. We are keeping her and her family in our thoughts and prayers."

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