Oklahoma gunman killed 4 people, including the surgeon who treated him

TULSA, Okla., June 2 (Reuters) – A man who fatally shot five people, including himself, at an Oklahoma medical building after buying an assault-style rifle the same day, had gone there to kill a doctor while who blamed the back. pain he felt after the surgery, authorities said Thursday.

The suspect entered a building on the campus of Tulsa’s St. Francis Health System with a semi-automatic weapon Wednesday and opened fire on anyone he found, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said at a news conference. Two doctors, a receptionist and a patient died.

Dr. Preston Phillips, 59, the orthopedic surgeon who treated the gunman, was killed along with Dr. Stephanie Husen, a 48-year-old sports medicine specialist.

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At the briefing, police identified the gunman as either Michael Lewis or Louis. A spokesperson could not be reached to provide the correct spelling of his last name.

The suspect “entered with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way,” Franklin said. Authorities found a letter about the gunman that made it clear that he was the target of the attack.

Authorities named two other deaths: Amanda Glenn, a receptionist, and William Love, a patient. The receptionist was initially identified as Amanda Green, but police later corrected her name on the department’s Facebook page.

“They got in the way and (the suspect) fired at them,” Franklin said.

The gunman, who police said lived in Muskogee, Oklahoma, about 50 miles from Tulsa, had been released from the hospital on May 24 after back surgery, the police chief said. The man subsequently called several times complaining of pain.

The shooting comes on the heels of two other mass murders that stunned Americans and reignited a long-standing debate about tightening controls on gun ownership and the role of mental health in the gun violence epidemic. that plagues the United States.

“Enough is enough. This must end. Hospitals are pillars of our communities,” Chip Kahn, executive director of the Federation of American Hospitals, said in a statement.

The gunman bought the rifle he brought to the hospital at a local gun store on Wednesday, authorities said. He also bought a gun at a pawn shop three days earlier.

The suspect parked on the second floor of the garage attached to the Natalie Building, a five-story medical office building with numerous offices, rooms, and hallways. He entered through the second-floor entrance and made his way into the building, Franklin said.

Police arrived at the scene three minutes after receiving a call at 4:53 pm CDT (2053 GMT) of a shooting at the hospital.

Officers ran into the building and followed the sound of gunfire to the second floor, making contact with the victims and suspect five minutes later, the chief said.

Officers on scene said they heard a gunshot five minutes later, and Franklin said the gunman took his own life.

“When we get that call, we’re going to ignore any security measures we might have for ourselves and we’re going to go into the building to deal with the threat. Our philosophy is that we will stop the threat and we will do so by any means necessary,” Franklin said. “This is how we train.”

The police chief appeared to be comparing his force’s performance to that of officers last week in Uvalde, Texas, who waited about an hour before storming a classroom where the school shooting gunman had barricaded himself. . Police have faced mounting criticism that the delay may have cost some of the students their lives.

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Information from Michael Noble Jr.; Written by Frank McGurty; Edited by Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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