Dr. Tracy Sin-Yee Tam, 32, had reportedly picked up a colleague's shift outside of her typical family medicine clinic assignment when Henry Bello, a troubled former Bronx-Lebanon Hospital doctor, shot and killed her on the hospital's 17th floor Friday afternoon. Friends and colleagues later told the NY Times and other outlets that it was common for Tam, a few years out of medical school, to take on extra work, adding that she was also exceptionally thoughtful and caring.
"She was never above tucking her patients in at night," Dr. Iyad Baker, who supervised Tam during her residency, told the paper. “She would come in even when her shift is over. She'd ask the human thing, just what a good person would do: Can I get you a glass of water? Would you like me to get you a magazine? Things that are not very common to do in the field."
Tam does not appear to have been a target in the shooting. The Daily News reports that Bello was targeting another physician, 48-year-old Dr. Kamran Ahmed.
Tam, of Jamaica, Queens, was the daughter of a cab driver, according to the NY Times. She attended Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a relatively new medical school on 125th Street in Harlem. She graduated in 2013 and completed her residency in New Jersey before coming to Bronx-Lebanon less than a year ago. At the time of her death, she lived with her parents and younger sister.
"Just a genuine person. You didn't have to know Tracy for her to treat you like she's known you for a hundred years," friend and fellow physician Dr. Jason Rugel told ABC7. "She just really was that kind of person who just befriended people."
A GoFundMe page to cover Tam's funeral expenses has raised over $21,000 so far.
"She worked extra hours without incentive just to hold hands of patients that are about to pass or just to talk to them and listen to their needs," wrote fellow physician Ahmed Rezk on the page.
Bello, the gunman, was a former physician who lived in shelters and transitional housing in Manhattan in the years leading up to Friday's rampage. He was reportedly forced to resign from his job at Bronx-Lebanon in 2015 after allegedly sexually harassing a coworker. Hours before the shooting, Bello emailed the Daily News to complain that Bronx-Lebanon Hospital had "terminated my road to a licensure to practice medicine" due to "bogus complaints" from a female doctor.
Bello wounded six others with an assault rifle snuck in under a lab coat before turning the rifle on himself, according to reports. Three doctors, two medical students, and one patient sustained gun wounds, police said Saturday. Five of the victims were in stable condition as of Saturday, according to the Daily News. Victim Dr. Hassan Tariq, 32, was reportedly shot in the wrist. There was some concern that he would no longer be able to practice medicine, according to the Post, but Tariq is able to move his fingers post-surgery.