UPDATED: Bronx Electeds React to BLHC Shootings

Horror at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center

Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

On Friday afternoon, a disgruntled former hospital worker armed with an AR-15 rifle sneaked into the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center on the Grand Concourse where he opened fire, wounding six people, one fatally, before killing himself.

Henry Bello. Facebook

Henry Bello. Facebook

The NYPD said, the suspect, identified as 45-year-old Henry Bello, was found dead on the 17th floor of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot.

When police arrived, they discovered “several people had been shot on the 16th and 17th floor by a lone gunman with a long rifle,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

According to police, they found the murdered female doctor and the dead gunman, who was wearing a white lab coat, on the 17th floor.

Various news outlets report that Bello went to the 16th floor looking for a specific doctor, after learning that doctor was not there and he began shooting others, apparently at random.

New York City Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner O’Neill, and Fire Commissioner Nigro respond to a shooting at Bronx Lebanon Hospital on Friday, June 30th, 2017. Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

New York City Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner O’Neill, and Fire Commissioner Nigro respond to a shooting at Bronx Lebanon Hospital on Friday, June 30th, 2017. Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

“Today’s fatal shooting at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center has shocked an entire borough, said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who offered condolences to the family of the female doctor killed Friday afternoon.

“As we learn more details about this horrible incident, my office and I will keep the victims, their families and the entire Bronx- Lebanon family in our thoughts as we pray that the survivors of today’s shooting have a speedy recovery,” said Diaz.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie also weighed in on the fatal incident saying, “Gun violence continues to plague communities across the nation and that it has found its way into workplaces, schools and hospitals, where the most vulnerable among us should feel safe, is reprehensible.”

Twitter

Twitter

WNBC News reported that five of the six injured people are staff of the hospital. The fifth victim is said to be a patient. The five injured medical staffers are in critical condition and the injured patient is reported in stable condition.

Bronx Congressman Jose E. Serrano said the incident was being investigated by the NYPD with the help of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), who will determine how Dr. Bello “came to possess such a dangerous weapon.”

“As this horrific incident is investigated, we are once again left to ask ourselves why. Our nation needs to have a serious conversation on gun violence, and on common sense reforms that will help prevent incidents like this,” Serrano added.

Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

He noted that as a senior member of an Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over funding for key agencies involved in reducing gun violence, “I will continue working to ensure agencies like the ATF has the funding it needs to continue keeping our communities safe.”

Bello was armed with what NYPD officials said was an AR-15 type assault rifle. “That’s a type of weapon that you so often see in these types of situations,” former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC.

Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda called the horrific shootings the work of a madman. In his statement he rhetorically asked, “When will this nation finally come up with a rational response to the crazy, illogical glorification of these weapons of horrific injury and murder?”

Sepulveda’s colleague Assemblyman Michael Blake said the “tragedy is another reminder that there must be stronger gun laws in our country, and the need for greater awareness around mental health concerns that can lead to unspeakable loss.”

Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

Senator Gustavo Rivera, like many of his colleagues noted the many acts of heroism displayed on Friday. “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of our first responders including the NYPD, especially police officers from the 44th and 46th Precinct, the FDNY and the EMT, for the courage and professionalism displayed under the most strenuous of circumstances.”

Sen. Gonzalez expressed his profound gratitude to the first responders saying yesterday was “indeed a very sad day for our City.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio extended his condolences to the family of the doctor who was killed and offered his “prayers to the families of all of those who were wounded and all of those who are fighting for their lives.”

At around 5 o’clock Friday, the FBI announced in a tweet that “there is no nexus to terrorism.”

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