Watch CBS News

Slain Mercy Hospital Worker Dayna Less Was Planning June Wedding

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Dayna Less was just getting off an elevator, going about her day as a pharmaceutical resident at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, when a gunman shot and killed her Monday afternoon.

The innocent, unsuspecting young woman was engaged to be married to her fiancé, Adam, and was planning their wedding next June in Schererville, Indiana. Her mother was making her wedding dress.

"I was going to be giving a wedding speech, instead of a eulogy, and there is absolutely no reason for this, but I don't want her remembered as a victim," said Danya Less' father, Brian.

Less, said their family has known her fiancé's family for about 15 years.

Danya Less, 24, graduated from Purdue University in May, and had spent time traveling and working at a hospital in Kenya.

"When she got there, the doctors in Kenya went on strike," Brian Less told reporters on Tuesday. "The pharmacists and everybody else that had an education took care of the patients. She called me and said, 'Sometimes, I don't know what I am doing.' And I said you do the best you can. And you will learn."

Dayna Less
Dayna Less, 24, was shot and killed at Mercy Hospital, where she worked, on Nov. 19, 2018. Three others were killed in the shooting, including the gunman. (Source: Facebook)

Her cover photo on Facebook featured a happy shot of Less sitting on an outlook above a valley in Kenya.

Less and her father were huge Cubs fans. The team tweeted their condolences to Less and the other victims of the shooting, Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez and Dr. Tamara O'Neal. A friend of Less' replied, saying "One of her and her family's favorite things together was celebrating their love for the Cubbies."

The tweet included multiple pictures of Less and her family at Cubs games, even one of her as a little girl.

Three other people were killed in Monday's shooting at Mercy Hospital, including the gunman. Police have said the violence started outside the hospital, where 32-year-old Juan Lopez shot and killed his former fiancée, Dr. Tamara O'Neal, before bursting into the hospital, where he killed Less and Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez, who responded to the shooting.

Despite the heartbreak, Brian Less has this to say.

"Hug your kids every day, talk to them every day," Less said. "Do something every day to make the world a batter place. We you see somebody how is losing their mind, help them."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.