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The killing of Dr. Tamara O’Neal reflects the alarming stats about black women and domestic violence
Dr. Tamara O’Neal, an emergency room physician at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, was shot and killed by her ex-fiancé on Monday. David Banks/AP

On Monday afternoon, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, a 38-year-old emergency room physician at Mercy Hospital in Chicago was shot and killed by her ex-fiancé 32-year-old Juan Lopez. The deadly incident started when Lopez and O’Neal got into a domestic argument in the hospital parking lot, according to the Associated Press.

The events escalated when Lopez opened fire on O’Neal and later shot and killed a police officer, Samuel Jimenez, 28, and pharmaceutical assistant Dayna Less, 25. Lopez was also shot dead. Lopez and O’Neal were engaged for almost a year, but their wedding was called off in September, WLS reported.

O’Neal’s tragic killing is yet another case of intimate partner violence and the incident should be a dire reminder that black women are more likely to experience domestic violence than white, Latina and Asian/Pacific Islander women, according to a 2017 report, the Status of Black Women in the United States, from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research.

More than 40% of black women experience intimate partner violence during their lifetimes compared to 31.5% of all women, the report states.

Black women are two and a half times more likely to be murdered by men than their white counterparts. In these cases, the majority — more than 90% — knew their killers. The average age for black female homicide victims was 35, compared to 40 for all women.

Natelegé Whaley
Culture Reporter