(AP Photo/Amanda Seitz)

Mercy Hospital Shooter Previously Fired From Chicago Fire Academy

November 20, 2018 - 1:49 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Authorities say the man who killed three people at Mercy Hospital on Monday was fired from the fire department training academy four-and-a-half years ago after he was accused of bullying female recruits.

Juan Lopez started at the fire training academy March 17, 2014, and barely two months later he was fired.

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said Tuesday that officials learned of the threats and told Juan Lopez he'd be disciplined. 

Fire Department Spokesman Larry Langford said "during his short time there, (Lopez) had been accused of bullying fellow recruits" - female recruits - "which today might be called violence in the workplace issues.

"At some point, he did not show up for work" - for training - and Lopez was terminated May 22, 2014, for going AWOL before Lopez could be disciplined for his treatment of female recruits.

Police said Lopez fatally shot Dr. Tamara O'Neal on Monday outside Mercy Hospital. O'Neal had recently called off their engagement and Lopez confronted her about returning the engagement ring.

Lopez also fatally shot a responding police officer and a pharmacy resident inside the hospital. Lopez also died in the shooting.

There are reports that Lopez threatened to "shoot up" the fire department training academy because he'd been fired, but Langford could not immediately confirm that.

Merritt didn't have any details of the past threats. But they were made the same year a woman sought an order of protection against him because he was incessantly texting her.

Police said they have not determined if the woman was granted an order of protection.

(The Associated Press contributed to this copy. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)