Bronx-Lebanon Hospital shooting survivor describes ordeal

- One of the doctors shot at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital last Friday shared the harrowing details of his encounter with the gunman.

"My initial impression was, I'm likely dying or dead," Dr. Hassan Tariq said.

Dr. Tariq, a gastroenterology fellow, was consulting with a patient when Dr. Henry Bello barged into the room and shot him.

"He just opened the door, and you're not expecting anything, he just took the first shot at me," Dr. Tariq told Fox 5 from his hospital bed.

"My body was in such a shock I didn't even feel any pain," Dr. Tariq said. "I was just laying down collapsed and as a physician, my thinking was, 'I got shot in the brain, that's why my sensations aren't working.'"

Dr. Tariq had actually been shot in the wrist.

He was one of seven people shot by Bello, a disgruntled former employee of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, who had entered the hospital with an assault rifle under his lab coat and started shooting indiscriminately before turning the gun on himself. Dr. Tracy Tam was killed in the rampage.

After Dr. Tariq was shot he hid until he heard the voice of a hospital employee.

"He was shouting 'Anyone need help? Anyone alive?' At that point, I opened the door and went to him," Dr. Tariq said.

The hospital worker tried to help Dr. Tariq get from the 16th floor to the emergency room on the ground floor but the elevators were shut down and the doctor was weak. The made it down the stairs to the 12th floor where a team of Dr. Tariq's colleagues rushed to help.

"We know Dr. Tariq well, and we saw him covered in blood," said Diana Cruz, an administrator for the cardiology department who called for doctors to help.

"We just pretty much all sprang into action, no one really thought about where the shooter was," said medical assistant Kenya Blandell.

The team was able to get Dr. Tariq to hand surgeon Fillip Findland who began operating almost immediately.

 "It was a very significant injury, every carpal bond was destroyed and not just destroyed but splintered into hundreds of fragments," Dr. Findland said.

After three and a half hours of surgery, Dr. Tariq still has a long way to go, but his doctors believe he will regain some function of his hand and eventually be able to treat patients again.

He realizes it could have been worse.

"I was angry initially, but when I heard what happened to the others I felt lucky because it could have been worse," he said. "I could have ended up in a wheelchair I could have died."

Dr. Tariq knew Dr. Tam casually and said she was a wonderful, friendly person who is sorely missed. He will undergo another hand surgery in the coming days and hopes to be released next week

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