'Acts of heroism' shine amid the horror of New York hospital shooting
7/3/2017, 6 a.m.
(CNN) They wasted little time in keeping patients safe when a disgruntled former employee opened fire Friday at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York.
Hospital staffers rushed to shelter the patients inside rooms and barricade the doors.
First responders moved to catch the gunman, put out a fire and end the threat.
And nurses and physicians risked danger to find and treat gunshot victims and move them to safety.
When it was over, two people, including the suspect, were dead and six others wounded. The gunman, Dr. Henry Bello, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, law enforcement officials said. He killed a physician, whom police identified as Tracy Sin Yee Tam, 32. Of the six injured, one was in critical condition, and the others were stable Saturday.
The violence could have been worse if not for the life-saving efforts of first responders and hospital employees, officials said.
"Our hospital staff responded heroically in addressing this situation," hospital spokesman Errol Schneer said.
"Many of our staff risked their own lives to save patients, and the fact that we had only one injury to a patient is truly a testament to the work that our staff did in protecting the patients at all costs."
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio paid tribute to the first responders, nurses, doctors and staff who risked their lives.
"This was a horrific situation unfolding in a place that people associate with care and comfort, a situation that came out of nowhere, but even in the midst of this horror there were many, many acts of heroism," de Blasio said.
Here are a few of those acts:
When staff members heard about the "code silver" emergency warning, they rushed into patient rooms to help them take shelter from the gunman.
Hospital staff is trained to care for patients first in shooting situations, said Patricia Cahill, the hospital's chief nursing officer.
"Those nurses took whoever they could and they put them in bathrooms with them, they huddled together and they held, they barricaded the door, they got in the safest place they could," she said.
Ruth Velazquez, an HIV counselor, said employees are ready for situations such as this.
"We locked every single door in that place, every single door was locked, and we put the patients there, we made sure that our main concern was the patients," she said.
Patients who were physically able also helped out. Krystal Rivera, 23, said she was with her hospital roommate, a visitor and a nurse when they heard gunshots.
"I barricaded the door with an IV machine, two chairs and my whole bed," Rivera said.
For hospital employee Gonzalo Corazo, keeping patients safe was his initial reaction to the emergency, he told CNN affiliate WABC-TV.
"That's when I panicked, and then all of sudden my first instinct was the patients, taking care of the patients," Corazo said.
De Blasio said that "doctors and nurses, all the personnel, responded with extraordinary bravery, with cool professionalism. They protected each other, they protected their patients even amidst this horrible situation."