Funeral service held for slain Chicago emergency room doctor

In this September 2017 photo provided by Monte Gerlach Photography Dr. Tamara O'Neal poses for a photo. O'Neal, an emergency room physician at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, was shot and killed by a gunman outside the hospital Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (Monte Gerlach Photography via AP)

LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) — Family and friends of an emergency room doctor killed in a shooting at a Chicago hospital gathered at an Indiana church Friday to remember the woman as a caring, loving and thoughtful person.

Funeral services for Dr. Tamara O’Neal were held at the First Church of God in LaPorte. O’Neal was shot to death by her former fiance after he confronted her outside Mercy Hospital on Nov. 19.

“I’m going to miss her enthusiasm. I’m going to miss her spirit,” said Dr. Adele Cobbs, a Mercy Hospital colleague. “She was a very happy person. She enjoyed life to the fullest, and we’re going to all miss that.”

O’Neal’s attacker was killed during a shootout with police that left Officer Samuel Jimenez dead. Also killed was pharmacy technician Dayna Less.

After graduating from Purdue University, O’Neal enrolled in medical school at the University of Illinois-Chicago, from which she graduated in 2014. A year before she joined the Mercy Hospital staff, O’Neal was as an emergency room physician at Franciscan Health in Michigan City, Indiana.

Members of O’Neal’s family said she was determined to be a doctor to serve others.

“She always wanted to help people,” said Paul Pryor, O’Neal’s cousin. “It wasn’t about the money. It was just about people, poor people, less fortunate people, that’s all she did was just care.”

Alexandria Holliday went to medical school with O’Neal and during the service recalled the challenges they faced.

“We struggled together, we shared our stories together of how difficult it was and we motivated each other each step of the way,” said Holliday.

O’Neal’s funeral was the last for the Mercy Hospital shooting victims. Funerals for Less and Jimenez were held on Monday.

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