Doctor Shot in Hospital Rampage Recalls Going Down, Then Opening Eyes: ‘I Realized at That Moment I'm Not Dead'

45-year-old Henry Bello stormed Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center with an assault rifle last week, killing one doctor and injuring others before taking his own life

What to Know

  • A gunman shot seven staff members inside Bronx Lebanon Hospital, one of them fatally, before taking his own life.
  • The gunman has been identified as Dr. Henry Michael Bello, a former family doctor at the hospital who resigned in 2015
  • Dr. Tracy Sin-Yee Tam, 32, was killed in the shooting. She normally worked in the clinic but was covering a shift for another doctor.

One of the doctors wounded in last Friday's rampage shooting at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital vividly recalls the moment the "angry" gunman, dressed in black boots and a white lab coat, stormed the room and began firing. 

Dr. Tariq Hassan was working on the 16th floor when Henry Bello, a former doctor who worked at the hospital, entered with a "big rifle" and shot at people.

Hassan was the first one hit, shot in the wrist and hand, but didn't realize it right away. 

"The response on my body was amazing," he told News 4 Thursday from his hospital bed, where he continues to recover. "I fell down, but I didn't feel any pain at all." 

"I didn't even know where he had hit me," said Hassan. "I just closed my eyes and I was still hearing the shots. The screaming was there." 

He says he then began to feel the pain set into his hand.

"I tried to open my eyes and I was able to see around me. What I saw was the shooter actually putting gasoline (around the room) and he was about to light it," said Hassan.

"And I realized at that moment, I'm not dead. And maybe I should run." 

Hassan said he started to run toward the shooter, "but I was getting drowsy, bleeding. I was just standing there. I saw the washroom door open, and I just ran into it and locked it."

Eventually, he was able to stagger to the 12th floor, where fellow staffers leaped into action. They carried him down nine floors to the operating room, SWAT teams clearing the way. 

Diana Ruiz, an administrative assistant, previously described to News 4 how she and her colleagues went on autopilot to help her friend Hassan: "There was no time to think." 

Hassan, an internist originally from Pakistan, says he just wants to get back to work. 

A seventh doctor, 32-year-old Tracy Sin-Yee Tam, was killed before Bello used the rifle to commit suicide on the 17th floor of the hospital after failing to set himself on fire. 

Bello, bent on killing a doctor sources said he had blamed for getting him terminated from the house physician job he held at Bronx-Lebanon from August 2014 to February 2015, used his old ID to gain access to the building. He was enraged that a specific doctor he'd asked for was not there, sources said. 

NBC 4 New York exclusively reported Bello had been fired from a city job a week before the shooting spree. The latest termination was another setback for Bello, who had recently moved out of a men's homeless shelter on 30th Street in March and into his own apartment.

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