COPA will not release video, audio footage of Mercy Hospital shooting

SHARE COPA will not release video, audio footage of Mercy Hospital shooting
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First responders arrive at Mercy Hospital, where four people were killed, including a Chicago police officer, last November. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability announced Tuesday night that the agency will not release any video and audio footage from the Nov. 19 shooting at Mercy Hospital that claimed the lives of a doctor, Chicago Police officer, pharmacy resident and the suspected shooter.

“Our decision not to release is based upon a permissible exemption cited in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” COPA said in a statement. “As an administrative investigative agency, we remain sensitive to the families impacted as a result of this incident.”

Mercy Hospital Dr. Tamara O’Neal (clockwise from upper left), Mercy Hospital pharmacy resident Dayna Less and Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez. | File photos

Mercy Hospital Dr. Tamara O’Neal (clockwise from upper left), Mercy Hospital pharmacy resident Dayna Less and Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez. | File photos

The civilian police oversight agency typically abides by a self-imposed policy to release video and audio footage from police-involved shootings within 60 days of their occurrence.

Juan Lopez fatally shot his former fiancee, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, in the hospital parking lot. After running into the hospital, he shot and killed Dayna Less, a pharmacy resident, and Samuel Jimenez, a Chicago Police officer who responded to the call.

Lopez was shot and killed by another officer, though the Cook County medical examiner’s office noted that he also shot himself in the head.

“As a civilian led oversight agency, COPA is dedicated to serving and supporting the families and residents of the city of Chicago affected by this tragic event and remain committed to the public to conduct thorough and transparent investigations,” COPA said.

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