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New York City's mayor says one doctor is dead and several others are fighting for their lives after a gunman opened fire at a hospital. (June 30) AP

In this image taken from video provided by WNBC 4 New York, emergency personnel converge on Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York, after a gunman opened fire there on Friday, June 30, 2017.(Photo: NBC 4 New York via AP)

NEW YORK — A rifle-wielding doctor under a cloud of suspicion for sexual harassment went on a shooting rampage at a Bronx hospital Friday, killing one and injuring six before fatally shooting himself, New York city officials said.

The gunman was Henry Bello, who once worked as a doctor at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center where the shooting occurred, The New York Times reported. The person he killed was a female doctor, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.

Bello wore a white lab coat during his murderous assault, O’Neill said.  At some point, he tried to set himself on fire, setting off the hospital fire alarm, O’Neill 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.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz told ABC News that Bello had been fired from the hospital. “There was some level of retribution that he wanted to exact,” Diaz said.

Bello, 45, had an extensive arrest record that included sex abuse, subway turnstile jumping, public urination and burglary, NBC4 reported. The hospital hired him in August of 2014 but he resigned in lieu of termination the following February, according to NBC4.

De Blasio said some of the six wounded were also doctors and five of them were fighting for their lives. The sixth person injured was shot in the leg, the mayor said.

“We’ve had a real tragedy here in the Bronx this afternoon,” de Blasio told reporters. “It’s something we’ve seen around the country, now we’ve experienced here … Thank God this was not an act of terrorism.”

Bello was described on the hospital website as a family medicine physician. Officials said Bello used an AR-15 assault rifle in the attack on the 16th and 17th floors.

Bello’s resignation in 2015 was amid sexual harassment allegations, according to two law enforcement officials, the Associated Press reported. The officials didn’t know the details of the allegations.

In unrelated cases, the doctor had been arrested in 2004 on a charge of sexual abuse, according to a police report, 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.

The chaos in the hospital halls led many to hide as the gunman made his way down the corridors. An emergency medical technician told ABC News that he was sat the hospital to pick up and transport a patient when the trouble erupted.

Robert Maldonado of Assist Ambulance said he was on the ninth floor when the words “Code two” came over a loudspeaker and employees began running. Other witnesses reported hearing “Code silver,” which means someone is in the hospital with a weapon. Maldonado said that he and several other employees went into a room and one employee locked the door.

Police then entered the room and asked the group to come out into the hallway. One shooting victim was on the floor, shirt open, with a wound to the abdomen, Maldonado said. He had the impression police had carried him from another floor.

Maldonado said he applied pressure and the group attempted to take the man outside but the elevator was disabled. Police carried the man downstairs via stairway, the emergency medical technician said.

“The gentleman was just in a lot of pain,” Maldonado said.

Patients described a frenzied scene.

“I was in the middle of getting an X-ray when security alerted us to the active shooter situation and locked us in,” patient Felix Puno, who was hunkered down in the fourth floor radiology department, told the Daily News. “Police are here doing a floor-by-floor sweep.”

Ronald Rogerson, 59, was on the seventh floor of the hospital awaiting an orthopedic appointment when he heard the gunfire.

“The lights started going off, alarms started going off and stuff,” Rogerson told the Daily News.

A 2012 report by the American College of Emergency Physicians identified 154 hospital-related shootings between 2000 and 2011. But hardly any involved doctors who inflicted the violence. 

A rare exception occurred in 2012, when Timothy Jorden, a well-liked trauma surgeon in the Buffalo area, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, his body found in brush a half mile from his home. At the time, he was wanted in the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend, Jacqueline Wisniewski, who was shot to death in the stairwell of the Erie County Medical Center. 

Contributing: Associated Press

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