Chicago gunman who killed 3 had threatened to shoot up fire academy

Juan Lopez had threatened to shoot up the Chicago Fire Academy nearly five years ago after he was fired for “improper conduct” towards women

By Jeremy Gorner, Annie Sweeney and Elyssa Cherney
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — The man who fatally shot a Chicago police officer, a doctor and a pharmacy resident at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center had threatened to shoot up the Chicago Fire Academy nearly five years ago after he was fired for “improper conduct” toward women there.

“He was accused of aggressive and improper conduct toward females at the academy,” said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. “He was disciplined and terminated.”

Langford could not specify whether the women were fellow candidates at the academy or other department personnel.

“He had issues,” Langford said. “He was not getting along well."

“He did not successfully complete his training and was terminated before he finished the academy,” he added.

Langford said Juan Lopez, 32, the gunman in Monday’s shooting, was never assigned to a firehouse as a firefighter or paramedic.

Here’s what else we know about Lopez, who police say opened fire at the Bronzeville hospital Monday afternoon and killed Chicago police officer Samuel Jimenez, emergency room doctor Tamara O’Neal and pharmacy resident Dayna Less. Lopez was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head.

  • O’Neal had broken off her engagement with Lopez, and he went to the hospital to demand his ring back.
  • The two argued in the parking lot of the hospital and “things escalated from there,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
  • Lopez was 32 years old and, according to police, had no criminal record.
  • He held a valid Firearm Owners Identification card and a concealed carry license.
  • He legally bought at least four guns in the last five years.
  • After the shooting, agents from the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched his home and began tracing his weapons.
  • He was married in 2008 and was divorced in 2015.

Copyright 2018 Chicago Tribune


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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