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Gunman Opens Fire In Bronx Hospital, Killing 1 And Injuring 6


There was a violent scene in New York City today. Authorities say a man pulled a rifle from under a white lab coat and opened fire inside a Bronx hospital, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Just before 3 o'clock this afternoon, chaos unfolded inside the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. A former employee began firing, killing one person and wounding six others, five of them seriously.


BILL DE BLASIO: This was a horrific situation unfolding in the middle of a place that people associate with care and comfort.

ROSE: Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke hours later outside the hospital. He praised the quick response by police and firefighters and what he called acts of heroism by the hospital's staff.


DE BLASIO: The doctors, the nurses, all the personnel responded with extraordinary bravery, with cool professionalism. They protected each other. They protected their patients.

ROSE: Police say the shooter tried to set himself on fire before apparently turning his rifle on himself. Police Commissioner James O'Neill says officers went looking for him inside the hospital.


JAMES O'NEILL: On the 17th floor, officers encountered the male suspect lying on the floor dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A female victim was also discovered on the 17th floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

ROSE: A law enforcement source identifies the gunman as Dr. Henry Bello. The name of the woman who was called has not been released. The mayor said the attack appeared to be workplace-related, but he did not elaborate or answer questions. Joel Rose, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Joel Rose is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers immigration and breaking news.