Several people have been shot at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center as an allegedly disgruntled ex-family medicine doctor opened fire with an ‘M16 type rifle’ later reported to be an AR-15 inside the facility. Early reports state that as many a seven were injured in the shooting with at least two people dead at the scene including the shooter. Interestingly, early reports suggested that there may have been multiple shooters involved.
The motive for the tragic shooting is the still under investigation. The gunman said to be 45 year-old Dr. Henry Michael Bello, who is believed to have resigned in 2015 instead of being terminated over sexual abuse harassment.
However, some confusion has emerged as to what really happened at the scene…
‘ACTIVE SHOOTER’ – The Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center took part in an ‘active shooter’preparedness forum in June of 2016. (Photo Illustration 21WIRE’s Shawn Helton)
NBC News reported the following developments shortly after the apparent shooting:
“The shooter has been identified as Dr. Henry Michael Bello, a 45-year-old family medicine doctor formerly employed at the hospital, according to sources.
After shooting the victims — many of them, if not all, doctors — Bello tried to set himself on fire on the 17th floor of the hospital, O’Neill said. The hospital’s fire alarm system activated, and FDNY firefighters were on standby outside the hospital as NYPD executed its active shooter protocol.
By the time police found Bello on the 17th floor, he was dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound, O’Neill said.
A motive in the shootings remains unclear, but authorities say there is no apparent nexus to terror. Sources say Bello resigned from the hospital in 2015 in lieu of being fired. Circumstances in the resignation weren’t clear.
As members of the NYPD’s most-armed units responded to the active shooter situation, a sea of patrol and tactical vehicles gridlocked the streets around the hospital on Grand Concourse, and police surveyed the roof of the building with their guns drawn, Chopper 4 over the scene shows.”
NOTE: Other reports have suggested it took about 15 minutes from the first 911 call until Bello’s body was discovered dead.
Also, shortly after the shooting rampage started, Reuters reported the police were able to conduct a sweep essentially shutting down the building attack:
“Police searched the hospital room by room, urging occupants to turn off the lights and remain in place as they conducted the sweep, according to an account posted on Twitter by Felix Puno, who identified himself as patient in the radiology department on the fourth floor of the hospital.
“Building is in complete shut down, I was in the middle of getting an x-ray when security alerted us to the active shooter situation,” Puno tweeted.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was briefed on the shooting and was on his way to the scene, the mayor’s Twitter account said.”
‘DRILL PROTOCOL’ – A hospital staff member follow the obligatory ‘hands up’ protocol, as part of the scripted active shooter scenario training. (Image Source: nydailynews)
As with any traumatic event there often several are certain details that don’t quite add up.
While we’ve been told the shooting took place on the 16th floor of the building some reports gave eye-witness testimony to the contrary, with one stating he heard three gun shots while located on the 10th floor. Is it really possible he heard gun shots from 6 stories above? Here’s NBC again with that detail:
“Francisco Bodon, a patient at Bronx Lebanon, tells NBC New York sister station Telemundo 47 that he was in a room on the 10th floor when three gunshots rang out and then chaos erupted.
There may have been more than three [shots], but people were screaming, crying and running around. It was very chaotic,” said Bodon.”
Adding to the confusion, the UK’s Express reported that one of doctors who was wounded in the shooting, as people inside the hospital created a makeshift tourniquet out of an emergency fire hose.
Although Bello reportedly held a work place grudge and apparently made threats to coworkers the“hospital officials said none of the victims were connected to Bello.”
QUESTION: Considering the massive amount of training associated with the hospital, why was there no ‘zero tolerance’ active shooter plan in place – something commonly implemented in emergency prep?
Over the years, we’ve seen how sensationalized shooting events have become a staple part of our day to day lives, complete with ready-made political talking points and staged press conferences – a buffet laid out for America, all of this within minutes or hours of high-profile tragedy.
MASSIVE RESPONSE – This kind of police emergency response has become routine after many high-profile active shooter incidents. (Image Source: nbcdfw.com)
The precarious relationship between emergency preparedness drills and actual active shootings is an ongoing pattern present in many high-profile shooting incidents in recent years, with mass shootings happening at the exact same locations as where ‘active shooter’ or terrorism drills had just previously taken place – a puzzling trend which we have covered extensively at21WIRE. This latest Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center appears to be no exception.
Although the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center appears to be work place violence, it’s important to examine other aspects or elements surrounding any case.
Below is a screen shot depicting speakers that participated in an “Active Shooter Planning Forum” in conjunction with the Healthcare Association of New York State in June of 2016. The Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center is displayed among those speaking…
In addition to active shooter emergency planning protocols listed above, according to a FOJP Service Corporation Journal Bronx-Lebanon Hospital was selected be a part of major emergency prep since at least over the past several years. here’s a passage from that report:
“At Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, the Department of Safety is charged with multiple responsibilities, some of which include, but are not limited to: fire and life safety, general safety and monitoring the fire command station; and coordinating emergency management and response planning.
Continuing, the report outlined the following:
“At Bronx-Lebanon, we took our environment into account, for example, geographic location we’re in, and let that be our driving force to how we developed our Hazard Vulnerablity Analysis (HVA) and put our emergency action plan (EAP) together. With two main campuses and multiple satellite locations, our plan has to incorporate everyone to ensure we will have the necessary staff in case of emergencies.”
It’s interesting that a hospital known to have extensive emergency protocols could have a shooting occur on its own premises after leading the area charge in addressing that very issue.
QUESTION: Is it really just a coincidence that this hospital was so heavily involved in active shooter prep – only to being prey to exactly that kind of tragedy?
Here’s a collection of media montages and video footage supposedly depicting the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center shooting response as staff and others sheltered in place…
As those in the hospital were ordered to shelter in place by both the NYPD and at the urging of the consulate for the United Arab Emirates, while there were several tweets posted to Twitter regarding the incident.
Here’s a screenshot first published by New York City Alerts that allegedly depicts the dead gunman Bello – notice there’s no evidence of fire that can been seen…
QUESTION: What was the purpose of releasing this photo or than to sensationalize a tragic event?
Here’s a social media post with a comment that read ‘stayed safe during the crisis’ by a page since taken down on Instagram…
Here’s the witness who heard shots ring out while on the 10th floor…
In the aftermath of any of these crisis events in America, powerful interests are always quick to line-up and take advantage of the event, mounting their sociopolitical agendas directly on the back of mass media coverage and by extracting political capital out of an emotional and traumatic situation. Certainly, mainstream media outlets like CNN gain immediate benefit as TV viewers are tuned-in incessantly for updates on any breaking situation – which translates into high rating and massive advertising income streams for the broadcast network.
Something else to consider, this shooting event took place the very same week during a major push to pass the GOP healthcare bill.
While this very well could be an act of workplace violence, it’s still important to ask questions, where there are few answers.
Will new questions emerge following the shocking Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center shooting?