US policeman wounded in hospital shootout

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Media captionEyewitness at the cancer centre: ‘I was in the gunfire and had to duck down’

Four people have died in a shooting at a Chicago hospital, including two female members of staff and a police officer, and the gunman himself.

The two women killed were a doctor and a pharmaceutical assistant, Mayor Rahm Emanuel confirmed.

A police spokesman said the gunman had died in an exchange of shots, but it is not clear if he took his own life.

A second officer avoided injury after a bullet fired in his direction became lodged in his gun, police said.

Officials say the gunman appeared to target a woman he was in a relationship with, but they do not suggest a motive.

“Chicago lost a doctor, pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer, all going about their day, all doing what they love,” said Mr Emanuel. “This tears at the soul of our city. It is the face and the consequence of evil.”

The incident occurred at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital at about 15:00 local time (21:00 GMT) on Monday.

“Multiple shots” were fired after the gunman opened fire in the hospital’s car park, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said.

Patients at the clinic later described hearing gunfire as the suspect made his way into the building, local media reported.

The officer who was shot at but escaped injury during the incident shared images of a bullet embedded in the side of his gun, Chicago news broadcaster ABC7 reported.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi later confirmed “with profound sadness” that an officer named as Samuel Jimenez had died in hospital of his injuries.

Mercy Hospital was quickly evacuated during the incident as armed police swarmed the scene.

The hospital later confirmed that police were able to secure the area, ensuring the safety of dozens of patients.

Other images from the scene showed people rushing outside the facility, including some staff in uniform.

The incident comes just days after some US medical professionals became involved in an online campaign protesting against gun violence.

The hashtag #ThisIsOurLane was used by doctors in response to a tweet from America’s powerful pro-gun group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), that suggested anti-gun doctors should “stay in their lane” after high-profile shootings.

Some doctors rebuked the assertion – sharing emotional stories and blood-splattered photographs of their treatment of gun violence victims.

Almost 13,000 people have been killed by guns so far this year in the US, according to data compiled tracking website Gun Violence Archive.

They say another 25,000 have been injured and more than 250 police officers have been shot on duty.

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