TULSA, Okla. – A man who blamed a doctor who performed surgery on him last month for continued back pain on Wednesday shot and killed the physician and three others before killing himself at a medical office building in Tulsa, authorities said.
Police Capt. Richard Meulenberg said the shooting occurred inside the Natalie Medical Building, KOKI-TV reported. It comes eight days after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a little more than two weeks after a gunman killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 1:50 p.m. EDT June 2: Speaking in Washington on Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris said she and President Joe Biden have been closely monitoring the situation in Tulsa. She called on lawmakers to act.
“We of course all of us hold the people of Tulsa in our hearts, but we also re-affirm our commitment to passing commonsense gun safety laws,” she said, adding that the president will speak more about the situation later Thursday.
“We cannot, as an administration or those of us that are here, address this alone. No more excuses. Thoughts and prayers are important but not enough. We need Congress to act.”
Biden is scheduled to speak Thursday night about recent mass shootings across the U.S. and urge lawmakers to pass gun safety legislation.
Update 12:35 p.m. EDT June 2: Cliff Robertson, president and CEO of Saint Francis Health System, on Thursday described slain physician Dr. Preston Phillips as “a man that we should all strive to emulate.”
Phillips was among four people killed Wednesday in a shooting at the Natalie Medical Building in Tulsa. Also slain were Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and patient William Love.
“Of everybody, you know, the fact that some individual would go after Dr. Phillips is mind blowing,” Robertson said at a news conference. ” He’s one of those folks that … his clinic cannot always be on time because he will spend every minute on patients that they need. … Not only is it a shock it is the ultimate loss for Saint Francis and for Tulsa.”
Robertson remembered Husen as “an incredible person” and that Glenn had a supervisory role in the clinic.
“The three best people in the entire world that … are the most committed to doing what they do every day and taking care of others didn’t deserve to die this way,” he said.
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT June 2: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday ordered national and state flags be flown at half-staff in memory of those killed in Wednesday’s shooting at the Natalie Medical Building in Tulsa.
Two physicians, Dr. Preston Phillips and Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and patient William Love died in the shooting, authorities said. Police said the gunman, Michael Louis, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 2: Authorities identified the four people slain Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a Tulsa medical office building as two doctors, a receptionist and a patient, KOKI-TV reported.
Dr. Preston Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and patient William Love died in the shooting, officials said.
Authorities identified the gunman as Michael Louis, a native of Muskogee, Oklahoma, KOKI reported.
Update 11:50 a.m. EDT June 2: Authorities found a letter on man who killed four people before taking his life Wednesday at a Tulsa medical office building which made clear that the attack was targeted, Chief Wendell Franklin said.
In the letter, the chief said Michael Louis “made it clear that he came in with the intent to kill Dr. (Preston) Phillips and anyone who got in his way.”
Louis blamed the doctor for ongoing pain he was experiencing following back surgery on May 19, Franklin said. He had called the medical office several times following his post-surgery release on May 24 to complain about pain and ask for follow-up treatment.
Franklin said Preston, who did the May 19 surgery, saw Louis on Tuesday. One day later, Louis bought an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle from a local gun store, the chief said. Earlier, he had bought a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol from a pawn shop.
Authorities got a 911 call about Wednesday’s shooting just after 4:50 p.m. from a person who had been on a video call with a doctor at the building, Franklin said. Shortly after officers arrived, Franklin said they heard what they believed to be the self-inflicted gunshot that claimed Louis’ life.
Police found one person injured in an exam room. The person later died at a hospital, Franklin said. In the room where Louis took his life, the chief said officers found another person dead. A woman who was hiding under a desk by Louis’ foot was rescued with no injuries.
Another person was found dead near a nurses station, Franklin said. Phillips was found dead in an exam room.
Police identified those slain as Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, Amanda Glenn and William Love.
Update 11:30 a.m. EDT June 2: Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said the gunman who opened fire at a medical office building in Tulsa, killing four people, was a patient who underwent back surgery last month.
Franklin said Dr. Preston Phillips, one of the four people killed Wednesday, performed the surgery May 19 on Michael Louis. He was released five days later and began calling the medical center to complain of pain and request additional treatment.
Phillips saw Louis again Tuesday. One day later, he called the doctor’s office to ask for more treatment before going into the building and killing Preston, Dr. Stephanie Husen, Amanda Glenn and William Love, authorities said.
Update 11:25 a.m. EDT June 2: Police identified the victims of Wednesday’s shooting as Dr. Preston Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, Amanda Glenn and William Love.
The suspect was identified as Michael Louis, Chief Wendell Franklin said.
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT June 2: Authorities are expected to update the public Thursday morning after a shooting left five people dead at a hospital in Oklahoma, including the gunman, KOKI-TV reported.
Meulenberg told KOKI that the shooting was targeted, but he declined to talk about a possible motive in the attack.
“This person didn’t come to a hospital and just, you know, look to shoot random people for any reason,” he said, according to the news station. “He had very specific purpose today. He went to this floor, he went to this building because he had intent.”
Update 3:17 a.m. EDT June 2: Meulenberg said Wednesday’s mass shooting “wasn’t random,” according to The New York Times.
“This wasn’t an individual who just decided he wanted to go find a hospital full of random people,” Meulenberg said. “He deliberately made a choice to come here, and his actions were deliberate.”
Meulenberg added that the people who were wounded have non-life-threatening injuries, according to the newspaper. Some of those wounds may have occurred as people were fleeing the scene, he said.
Update 10:54 p.m. EDT June 1: In a statement, hospital officials said that “Saint Francis Health Systems is grieving the loss of four members of our family.”
Update 9:48 p.m. EDT June 1: During a televised interview on CNN, Tulsa Police Department Capt. Richard Meulenberg said that multiple people were wounded in the shooting.
“We have some other wounded – less than 10,” Meulenberg told the news organization, adding that people who were wounded did not suffer injuries that were considered life-threatening.
Earlier, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said during an evening news conference that the Saint Francis campus “is sacred ground for our community.”
“Men and women of the Tulsa Police Department did not hesitate,” the mayor said.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt called the shooting a “senseless act of violence and hatred.”
“I am grateful for the quick and brave actions of the Tulsa Police Department and other first responders who did their best to contain a terrible situation,” Stitt said.
Update 8:29 p.m. EDT June 1: At a news conference, Tulsa police said four people were killed in the shooting, and that the gunman died from a self-inflicted wound. Officials said police received a call at 4:52 p.m. CDT and were at the Natalie Building four minutes later. They made contact with the shooter by 5:02 p.m.
Police Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish confirmed the number of dead and said the shooter, who has not been identified, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to The Associated Press. He added that the shooter had a rifle and a handgun.
The shooting took place on the second floor of the Natalie Building, Tulsa Police Cpt. Richard Meulenberg told reporters.
U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern tweeted that the shooting was “a terrible situation.”
“There’s still a lot we don’t know about what happened tonight in the Natalie Building, but what we do know is this: multiple lives were taken from us, and many more changed forever. My prayers are with those who lost loved ones tonight, and with the entire Tulsa community as we recover from this tragedy, Hern said. “I am thankful for our law enforcement officers who responded quickly.”
Update 8:16 p.m. EDT June 1: A White House spokesperson told CNN that President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting.
“The White House is closely monitoring the situation and has reached out to state and local officials to offer support,” the spokesperson said.
Update 7:26 p.m. EDT June 1: Tulsa police confirmed to KOKI-TV that three people were killed in the shooting. The gunman also died.
Original report: The building is primarily used for sports medicine and orthopedic surgery, according to the television station, and also houses an outpatient surgery center and a breast health center. It is located on the campus of Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa.
Police responded to a call about a man armed with a rifle at the medical complex, KOKI reported.
“Officers are currently going through every room in the building checking for additional threats,” police said earlier. “We know there are multiple injuries, and potentially multiple casualties.”
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also at the scene, a spokesperson told The Associated Press.
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