Doc­tor ac­cused of sex­ual ha­rass­ment kills one, self

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A doc­tor forced oust from a New York hos­pi­tal be­cause of sex­ual ha­rass­ment ac­cu­sa­tions re­turned Fri­day with an as­sault ri­fle hid­den un­der a lab coat and shot seven peo­ple, killing one woman and leav­ing sev­eral doc­tors fight­ing for their lives, author­i­ties said. The gun­man, Dr Henry Bello, fa­tally shot him­self af­ter try­ing to set him­self on fire at Bronx Le­banon Hos­pi­tal, they said. He stag­gered, bleed­ing, into a hall­way where he col­lapsed and died with the ri­fle at his side, of­fi­cials said.

Wit­nesses de­scribed a chaotic scene as gun­fire erupted, spread­ing terror through­out the med­i­cal fa­cil­ity as em­ploy­ees locked them­selves in­side rooms and pa­tients feared for their lives. “I thought I was go­ing to die,” said Re­naldo Del Vil­lar, a pa­tient who was in the third-floor emer­gency room get­ting treat­ment for a lower back in­jury. Law en­force­ment of­fi­cials iden­ti­fied the shooter as the 45-year-old Bello, who was de­scribed on the hos­pi­tal web­site as a fam­ily medicine physi­cian. Of­fi­cials said Bello used an AR-15 in the at­tack on the 16th and 17th floors.

Bello was al­lowed to re­sign from the hos­pi­tal in 2015 amid sex­ual ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions, ac­cord­ing to two law en­force­ment of­fi­cials. The of­fi­cials didn’t know the de­tails of the al­le­ga­tions. The of­fi­cials were not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the still-un­fold­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion and spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press on con­di­tion of anonymity. In unrelated cases, the doc­tor pleaded guilty to un­law­ful im­pris­on­ment, a mis­de­meanor, in 2004 af­ter a 23-year-old woman told po­lice Bello grabbed her, lifted her up and car­ried her off, say­ing, “You’re com­ing with me.”

He was ar­rested again in 2009 on a charge of un­law­ful sur­veil­lance, af­ter two dif­fer­ent women re­ported he was try­ing to look up their skirts with a mir­ror. On Fri­day, one fe­male doc­tor was killed and six other peo­ple were wounded, five of them se­ri­ously, ac­cord­ing to Po­lice Com­mis­sioner James O’Neill. The pa­tients were treated in the emer­gency room at Bronx Le­banon. Two sur­geons at the hos­pi­tal told the AP that all six vic­tims were in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, but they were ex­pected to sur­vive. The vic­tims largely suf­fered gun­shot wounds to the head, chest and ab­domen, they said.

The most se­ri­ously wounded was shot in the liver, said the sur­geons, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not per­mit­ted to speak pub­licly. “This was a hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion un­fold­ing in a place that peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with care and com­fort, a sit­u­a­tion that came out of nowhere,” Mayor Bill de Bla­sio said, adding that ter­ror­ism was not in­volved in the at­tack. Shortly af­ter re­ceiv­ing a 911 call about an ac­tive shooter, po­lice of­fi­cers went floor by floor, their guns drawn, look­ing for the gun­man. They later learned he was dead in­side the build­ing. De Bla­sio con­firmed that Bello killed him­self.

Bello may have doused him­self with an ac­cel­er­ant like gaso­line and tried to set him­self on fire be­fore shoot­ing him­self, of­fi­cials said. Sprin­klers ex­tin­guished the fire. Ac­cord­ing to New York State Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment records, Bello had a lim­ited per­mit to prac­tice as an in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal grad­u­ate to gain ex­pe­ri­ence in or­der to be li­censed. The per­mit was is­sued on July 1, 2014, and ex­pired last year on the same day. A for­mer col­league de­scribed Bello as a prob­lem­atic em­ployee. Bello “was very ag­gres­sive, talk­ing loudly, threat­en­ing peo­ple. All the time he was a prob­lem,” said Dr David Lazala, a fam­ily medicine doc­tor who said he trained Bello at Bronx Le­banon. He said Bello, who worked at night as a doc­tor, sent him a threat­en­ing email af­ter Bello was fired.—AP

— AP

NEW YORK: Photo shows the AM-15 as­sault ri­fle used by Dr Henry Bello in a shoot­ing at Bronx Le­banon Hos­pi­tal in New York.

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