Medical school friends of Dr. Tamara O’Neal, who was killed by her ex-fiancé on Monday in Chicago, turned the tragedy into an opportunity to support the next generation of Black doctors.
They launched the Tamara E. O’Neal Memorial Fund on Tuesday to create scholarships for young, Black medical students, according to their GoFundMe campaign page that seeks to raise $100,000.
“Tamara was an incredible advocate, particularly for physicians of color or anyone that may have expressed an inkling of doubt, as her disarming nature and warm smile made it easy for even the shyest aspiring doctor to inquire about the amazing job she loved, and in due time lend herself as a resource,” stated O’Neal’s classmates, who recalled that she was “the brainchild” of their medical study group.
Juan Lopez, 32, shot O’Neal outside Mercy Hospital after they had an argument over O’Neal’s recent decision to call off their engagement, the police said.
After O’Neal fell to the ground, a witness said Lopez “stood over her and shot her three more times,” the Associated Press reported.
Lopez then went on a rampage, going inside the hospital and killing two more people, including a police officer, during a shootout. Lopez died, but it’s unclear if he committed suicide or if police gunfire killed him.
“Tamara O’Neal aka TO was one of the warmest human beings any person could ever talk to and be fortunate enough to develop a close relationship with. She was filled with empathy, compassion, and a love and loyalty that was unmatched. She was God-fearing and committed as she never worked on Sundays,” her friends recalled.