Tulsa shooting: Everything we know about hospital attack that killed four people

Four victims and shooter killed in incident, police say

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Friday 03 June 2022 00:45 BST
Tulsa shooting: Five dead in attack on medical clinic
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Another deadly shooting has struck America, following tragic incidents this month in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.

Four people were killed in a deadly gun attack at a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, 1 June. The suspected gunman was also declared dead at the scene and is believed to have died from self-inflicted wounds, according to police.

Here’s what we know so far:

Shooting in a hospital building and a swift police response

Tulsa police were called on Wednesday afternoon on reports of a man armed with a rifle at the Natalie Medical Building within the city’s Saint Francis Hospital.

The call came in at 4.52pm, according to Tulsa deputy police chief Eric Dalgleish.

Officers arrived at the scene and made contact with the suspected shooter, later identified as Michael Louis, and victims by 5.01, he added.

“The officers that did arrive were hearing shots in the building,” Mr Dalgleish said. “That’s what directed them to the second floor.”

The floor of the building is at least partially taken up by an orthopedic medicine centre.

The police official said that Tulsa officers train on active shootings regularly, and that recent events in Uvalde meant that this practice was “probably fresh on everyone’s mind.”

Tulsa police captain Richard Muelenberg told reporters the scene inside the hospital was tragic.

“It’s a catastrophic scene in there right now,” he said. The gunfire occured on the building’s second floor, NBC News reports.

Four victims dead in shooting, plus gunman

Authorities revealed the identities of the four people killed during Wednesday’s mass shooting, which included three employees of Saint Francis Healthcare system and one patient. The victims were identified as Dr Preston Phillips, Dr Stephanie Husen, Amanda Glenn and William Love.

The four victims of the 1 June, 2022, Tulsa, Oklahoma hospital shooting. Going clockwise: Dr Preston Phillips, patient William Love, Dr Stephanie Husen, and receptionist Amanda Glenn. (Saint Francis Health System and Facebook)

Glenn was identified by police as a receptionist at the facility, while Love was a patient.

“As a faith based organisation, the only recourse we have at this moment is to pray while we navigate this tragedy,” the organisation said in a statement.

The gunman, Michael Louis, a former patient of Dr Phillips, is believed to have died from self-inflicted wounds, police said.

Chief Franklin said during Thursday’s press conference that investigators believe that some of the victims killed in Wednesday’s attack got “in the way” of Louis.

“They stood in the way, and Louis gunned them down,” the police chief said during a press conference.

Rifle and pistol used in shooting

Just hours before the deadly assault at the Tulsa medical centre, Louis had legally purchased one of the firearms used in the shooting: an AR-15 style rifle, according to Chief Franklin.

“Now we know through the help of our ATF and our gun tracing that on pm at June 1 he purchased a semi-automatic rifle from a local gun store,” Chief Franklin said.

The shooter had also legally purchased a semi-automatic handgun on 29 May from a local pawn shop, according to police.

All firearms were reportedly purchased legally.

A letter reveals harrowing details

Chief Franklin revealed during Thursday’s press conference that officers uncovered a letter on the suspected shooter’s body and inside, it laid out a clear motive.

On 19 May, Louis had back surgery, which was performed by Dr Phillips. The patient then proceeded to call his doctor several times over the course of many days following the operation, repeatedly complaining of ongoing back pain and was seeking “additional treatment”, according to Chief Franklin.

Louis last saw Dr Phillips on Tuesday for treatment and on Wednesday, just hours before the fatal shooting, he called his doctor to lodge further complaints about his back pain.

When officers arrived to the scene and found the suspected shooter’s body, they also found on Louis a letter “which made it clear that he came in with the intent (of) killing Dr Phillips” and anyone who got in his way, Chief Franklin added.

“This is what he planned to do,” said Chief Franklin. “That letter lead us and told us the story.”

Shocked witnesses

Bystanders and officials said they were shocked by the shooting at the bustling hospital complex in Tulsa.

“There are over 10,000 people that are part of the Saint Francis health system that every day commit their lives to taking care or people in need, taking care of everyone in need,” said Dr Cliff Robertson, president and CEO of the Saint Francis Health System, during a press conference on Wednesday. “This sensless, horrible, incomprehensible act is not going to change that.”

“Tulsa is a safe, nice community to start a family in. It’s kind of shocking to me it’s happening in our own backyard,” a man named Sal told Fox 23.

Debra Proctor was in another building at the hospital for a doctor’s appointment when the “shocking” shooting began.

“Police were everywhere in the parking lot, up and down the surrounding blocks,” she told CNN. “They were still arriving when I was leaving.”

US Representative Kevin Hern said he was in touch with Tulsa police about the “terrible situation” at the hospital.

“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,” he wrote in a statement. “My prayers are with those who lost loved ones tonight.”

Two mass shootings in one week

The shooting follows another attack earlier in the week, when one died and seven were injured at a Memorial Day festival in Taft, Oklahoma, about 45 miles outside of Tulsa.

The Tulsa police department trained new recruits on active shooter tactics as recently as 27 May, according to the department.

A time for grief or policy reform?

Tulsa mayor GT Bynum said on Wednesday he didn’t want to discuss politics or policy around access to guns at this stage, given the grief families are experiencing right.

“If we want to have policy discussions, that is something to be had in the future, but not tonight,” he said at a press conference.

Democratic US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut argued that now is the time to demand reform, following several mass shootings in recent weeks, “happening at a pace we’ve never ever seen before in this nation’s history,” he said on MSNBC on Wednesday.

The suggested the recent wave of gun violence has enouraged more Republicans than ever to tackle gun violence alongside Democrats, he said.

“I’ve never seen more Republicans willing to discuss changes in our gun laws than I did today,” he said. “I don’t think we have to get it done all at once. What we’re trying to do is prove to Republicans that if they vote for measures that tighten up the nation’s gun laws, the political sky does not fall. In fact, they’ll get a lot more supporters.”

The House Judiciary Committee convened on 2 June for more than eight hours of debate around an emergency package of gun reform legislation, including raising the age to purchase so-called assault rifles like AR-style firearms used in recent massacres from 18 to 21 years old.

President Joe Biden also delivered primetime remarks urging Congress to draft legislation to combat the proliferation of high-powered firearms and curb the epidemic of gun violence.

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