Chicago police officers honored for heroism during deadly Mercy Hospital shooting

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Three Chicago police officers were recognized Tuesday morning for their actions responding to the deadly Mercy Hospital shooting last year.

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Mercy Hospital Shooting (1 of 14)

Chicago police officer Samuel Jimenez had only been a full-fledged officer for a few months when he responded to the call for help at Mercy Hospital.

Four people were killed, including rookie Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez, after a gunman opened fire at the main hospital on Nov. 19.

The shooting began as a domestic incident as the suspect, Juan Lopez, targeted his ex-fiance before taking the life of two others and then himself.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honored Lieutenant Jacob Alderden, Officer Elvis Turcinovic, and Officer Bernard Quijano at the Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union Tuesday. These officers represented all the officers who responded to the shooting.

While the officers humbly accepted the acknowledgment of their bravery, they do so with heavy hearts as they remember their comrade who died in the line of duty.

"It's an honor to be recognized. Officer Jimenez was a true hero, not because he lost his life, but because with 18 months on the job he did exactly what he was trained to do without any hesitation at all," Lt. Alderden said at the ceremony. "Were it not for [Officer Jimenez] immediately responding and pursuing the offender, certainly it could have been much worse."

Officer Quijano recalled rushing to one of the victims aid, only to narrowly escape death and injury himself when the gunman's bullets ripped through the holster on his right hip, lodging in the gun of the military vet with just five years on the job.

"It felt like, I felt the impact. It sort of felt like a punch," Officer Quijano said.

All three men were instrumental in keeping more people from getting hurt and finally subduing Lopez, before he eventually took his own life.

"These officers drive and ran into danger because that is what they do. They answer the call for help," said Arthur Hannus, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation President.

The life and service of Officer Samuel Jimenez will be remembered later this year when his name is added to the wall at the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.
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