NEW YORK — A medical resident recovering from gunshot wounds in a doctor’s assault-rifle attack at a New York hospital is speaking out about gun violence after filing a lawsuit against the institution and a gun shop.
Justin Timperio sued Wednesday in Manhattan federal court, seeking unspecified damages.
“Because of the nature of these weapons used, it hit me in the liver, ricocheted through my abdomen, hit my stomach my small intestine and tracked down and came out my right thigh,” Timperio said.
Authorities say a doctor who had been forced to resign from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital two years earlier amid a sexual harassment claim opened fire inside the hospital on June 30, killing a doctor and hurting six others. Police say the doctor, Henry Bello, killed himself at the scene.
The lawsuit said the hospital had insufficient security to stop Bello from entering the grounds even though a nurse and a security guard were injured in a 2011 shooting there.
Timperio said he saw Bello come through the door, dressed like a doctor with an ID badge, brandishing an AR-15 — and began shooting.
“I looked down and I realized I was shot. I saw blood coming out of me,” Timperio said. “I was trying to call my parents because I was certain I’d die. I could feel blood in my lungs it became difficult to think and breathe.”
The last thing Timperio remembers was asking the nurse to give him pain medication so he could die without suffering.
The lawsuit also blamed the shooting on a Schenectady, New York, gun shop.
“One of the questions the lawsuit will answer is how did Bello get the AR15?” said Attorney Arnold Kriss. “They knew he was a potentially dangerous employee and they permitted him when he exited from the hospital to retain his identification badge that gains access to the hospital.”
The hospital did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.
Timperio said he hopes this lawsuit will bring about change — and “prevent a catastrophe like this happening again.”