Bronx-Lebanon shoot’g shocker/Former staffer kills doctor, self; injures 6

Armed Emergency Service Unit police officers prepared to enter the hospital.
Photo by Aracelis Batista

The management and staff of Bronx Lebanon Hospital on Grand Concourse is working to turn the page after a Friday, June 30 shooting that left a young doctor dead and six others injured.

The shooting occurred at around 2:50 p.m. Friday when Dr. Henry Bello, a Bronx resident, opened fire at the hospital and set fires before fatally shooting himself.

The 45-year-old doctor had resigned from the hospital two years ago when he was told he would be fired due to complaints including sexual harassment.

Bello targeted doctors he had worked with, according to published reports.

Killed in the attack was 32-year-old Dr. Tracy Sin-Yee Tam of Queens.

Tam had been filling in for another doctor’s shift when the attack occurred.

Two victims remain in critical condition while the other four have been upgraded.

Bronx-Lebanon Hospital spokesman Errol Schneer said Tam will never be forgotten by her hospital co-workers.

“She was extremely well liked, and a very dedicated physician,” Schneer said. “She came to Bronx Lebanon for a large part due to our reputation of servicing a community in need of all types of care, that has high incident rates of diabetes and asthma. She was very committed to helping address those serious health problems.”

A vigil planned for the afternoon of Thursday, July 6 in front of the hospital was being organized by the Local 1199, the New York State Nurses Association and the Committee of Interns and Residents.

Tam’s family has requested that information about her funeral and memorial services be kept private, Schneer added.

“The staff here provided an extraordinary response to the tragic events that took place this Friday,” he said. “There were countless acts of heroism that were incredible in terms of staff that were willing to sacrifice their own lives to keep our patients safe and secure.”

The hospital was considering many options for Dr. Tam, including a special memorial in the Family Medicine Department where she worked.

Like Montefiore and Mt. Sinai, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital is a voluntary not-for-profit hospital.

Schneer said hospital staff had worked with the NYPD to train for just such an active shooter events.

“They provided a very quick response to the situation, they were at the hospital almost immediately,” he said

Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner represents the district the hospital is located in. She said the tragedy impacted her entire community.

“The thoughts and prayers of families throughout the 77th Assembly District are with those who were shot, their loved ones and their colleagues as well as the first responders who are on the scene,” Joyner said. “The skilled medical professionals of Bronx-Lebanon Medical Center are in the thoughts and prayers of families throughout the 77th Assembly District.”

Senator Gustavo Rivera and Councilman Fernando Cabrera also expressed condolences for the victims and their families, and praised hospital staff and law enforcement for their response.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of our first responders including the NYPD, especially police officers from the 44th and 46th precincts, the FDNY and the EMT, for the courage and professionalism displayed under the most strenuous of circumstances,” Rivera said. “Further, I want to express my profound appreciation to the doctors, nurses and personnel at Bronx Lebanon for their work in putting their patients out of harm’s way.”

Cabrera called for the community to unite against gun violence.

“We must come together as a community and firmly decide that gun violence is collectively reprehensible and commit to ending this scourge,” Cabrera said.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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