Four Mass Shootings Rock the U.S. as Thanksgiving Week Gets Underway

Denver, Chicago, St. Louis and Philadelphia were all home to gun violence Monday

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks in a press conference as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel looks on, October 30, 2017.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks in a press conference as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel looks on, October 30, 2017.Credit: Joshua Lott/Reuters

Four shootings in a Chicago hospital, in downtown Denver, in suburban St. Louis and in a Philadelphia home left 10 people dead, including one of the gunmen, and at least four people wounded.

A gunman shot a doctor to death outside a Chicago hospital on Monday before storming the facility and killing a pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer during an exchange of gunfire and dying in the rampage, officials said. 

The shooter knew the doctor he shot outside Mercy Hospital, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference, describing that initial killing as an act of domestic violence. 

The gunman was the ex-fiance of the doctor, Chicago media outlets reported, with one witness saying he demanded a ring back. 

The shooting sent doctors and patients streaming out of the facility, some with their hands up as heavily armed police officers sought to secure the hospital. 

"The city of Chicago lost a doctor, a pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer, all going about their day, all doing what they love," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters. 

"This tears at the soul of our city. It is the face and consequence of evil," Emanuel said. 

The gunman, after killing the doctor, fired at arriving police officers with a single handgun, Johnson said. 

The gunman, whose name has not been released, then burst into the hospital. Officers followed him inside and exchanged gunfire with him for several minutes, Johnson said. 

Officer Samuel Jimenez, who joined the Chicago police force last year, died during the gun fight, officials said. The 28-year-old was married with children and the second Chicago officer killed in the line of duty this year. 

"There's no doubt in my mind that all of those officers who responded were heroes and they saved a lot of lives, because we just don't know how much damage he (the gunman) was prepared to do," Johnson said. 

In a sign of the random nature of the rampage, the pharmacy assistant shot by the gunman just happened to be getting off an elevator, Johnson said. Her name has not been released. 

Local media identified the doctor killed outside the hospital as Tamara O'Neal. 

The gunman also died but it was not immediately clear if he shot himself or was struck by a police officer's bullet, Johnson said. 

Another officer was spared injury when a bullet lodged itself in his holster. 

In Denver, another shooting left one person dead and three others wounded on Monday. At least one suspect remained at large after the shooting on a downtown street corner. 

Downtown Denver 

A shooting on a downtown Denver street corner on Monday left one person dead and four hospitalized with bullet wounds, as investigators sought at least one suspect still at large, a police spokesman said.

The survivors were initially reported to be in critical condition, but police later said in a message on Twitter that the injuries were "believed to be non-life threatening."

No further official details were immediately available about the circumstances of the shooting, which erupted about 4 p.m. in the lower downtown area of Denverknown as LoDo, a district of hotels, restaurants and high-rise residential lofts.

The area is close to Coors Field, home to Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies.

The Denver Post newspaper cited a witness as saying he saw a single gunman open fire with a pistol on a group of people, then get into the driver's seat of his car, slam the door shut and speed away.

The witness added that he heard roughly six gunshots and that one person in the crowd fired on returned gunfire at the assailant's car as it drove away. The witness also said the people targeted by the gunman appeared to be transients or homeless.

Denver police initially put the total number of victims at four, one declared dead at the scene. Later it updated the toll on Twitter, saying five people were shot, one fatally. The four hospitalized were in stable condition, police said.

There were no arrests, and no word on what might have precipitated the violence.

"We don't know right now whether there was one shooter or more than one," Denver police spokesman Doug Schepman told reporters, adding that investigators had yet to determine the cause and whether the assailant or assailants knew any of the victims.

"It's too early to say what happened and why," he added. "To have multiple gunshots fired in an area like this is quite concerning."

Schepman also acknowledged there had been a homicide a couple of blocks away on Sunday, but added, "At this time we do not have information that connects these two incidents."

St. Louis shooting at Catholic store

Police in suburban St. Louis on Monday were searching Monday for a gunman who went into a religious supply store, sexually assaulted at least one woman and shot a woman in the head. Police said the shooting victim later died at a hospital.

The shooting happened about 3:15 p.m. at a Catholic Supply of St. Louis store in western St. Louis County, near the town of Ballwin. Police were looking for a man about 5-foot-7 with a heavy build, and said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

The gunman walked into the store and sexually assaulted at least one woman — police spokesman Shaun McGuire said he couldn’t confirm media reports that more than one woman was assaulted.

It wasn’t clear why the store was targeted and McGuire didn’t know if its religious affiliation was a factor.

“Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy at Catholic Supply,” St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said on Twitter.

McGuire said that the woman who died did not know the suspect.

“Obviously, that adds to the intensity of our search,” McGuire said.

The shooting happened at a strip mall in an affluent area of suburban St. Louis along Manchester Road, one of the most congested roadways in the region. McGuire said the heavy volume of traffic only made finding the suspect more difficult.

“Obviously someone could blend in pretty easily,” he said.

Catholic Supply of St. Louis Inc. operates three stores specializing in church supplies for parishes as well as Catholics. The company’s website says it also publishes national supply catalogs.

Ballwin is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of St. Louis.

Philadelphia executions

 Two men and two women were found shot and killed in a basement of a house being renovated on Monday.

Police received a call in the morning to check on the welfare of people at the house after a family member arrived to find the door ajar. Responding officers found the four in the basement, each with a single gunshot wound to the head.

“Sadly, all four of these individuals were executed, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. “This is an absolutely evil thing to do. . There is no way in the world people should have met their demise this way.”

It appears as if the four were “led” to the basement, he said, because their hands and feet weren’t bound. There were no obvious signs of a struggle inside the home, he said.

Two of the victims were a 31-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman. The others are described as a man approximately 20-30 years old and a woman approximately 30-40 years old. No names were released.

The two men are believed to be cousins who were living in the home while it was being renovated, Ross said.