UPDATED 6/2, 12:15 p.m.: Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said on Thursday that the shooter, identified as Michael Lewis, was a recent patient who—per the Associated Press—“targeted [the] doctor who performed [Lewis’] back surgery, blaming him for pain.” Newsweek writes that police “found a letter on the suspect making it clear that he came into the building to kill Dr. [Preston] Philips ‘and anyone who came in his way.’”
In a Cox Media Group piece syndicated by WSBTV and others, it’s revealed that Dr. Preston Phillips operated on Lewis on May 19. “He was released five days later and began calling the medical center to complain of pain and request additional treatment,” the report reads. “Phillips saw Lewis 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 Green, and William Love, authorities said.”
Love, per Fox 23, was a patient, while Glenn was a receptionist. “They were there for medical service,” Chief Franklin said. “The doctor was there providing care. They stood in the way. They stood in the way and [Lewis] gunned them down.”
Citing three federal sources and Franklin’s comments, CNN reported the AR-15 style rifle was legally purchased roughly less than three hours before the attack (2 p.m. Wednesday) and that Lewis’ handgun was legally bought just before, on May 29. The outlet cites the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive as indicating “at least 233 mass shootings” have happened this year; June 1 was merely the 152nd day of 2022.
“This person didn’t come to a hospital and just, you know, look to shoot random people for any reason,” said Tulsa PD Capt. Richard Meulenberg. “He had [a] very specific purpose today. He went to this floor, he went to this building because he had intent.”
Explaining the timeline and what was found at the scene, Franklin told media that a 911 call was received at 4:52 p.m. CT on Wednesday and another at 4:55; and police got to the scene at 4:56, heading for the second floor. Newsweek writes, “They advanced towards the suspect’s location and heard gunshots, Franklin said. Franklin said officers believe that [the] gunshot at 4:58 p.m. was the one where the gunman took his own life. … They found a victim in an exam room. That person later died at the hospital. A woman was rescued after hiding near the suspect. Franklin said she was there when the suspect took his own life. She was not injured.”
Still-developing information includes a Wednesday bomb threat call in Muskogee that may have been related to Lewis. “We are still working to determine exactly how that came in. I believe it was at the suspect’s residence, but we are still working through that portion to determine exactly what transpired there,” Franklin said.
Authorities were also contacted a half-hour after the shooting, possibly by the shooter’s spouse, the chief said. “We received a call from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and that dispatcher told us a woman on the line, whose name they did not have, called saying that her husband had killed several people at Dr. Phillips’ office.”
See original story below.
A shooting at an Oklahoma medical center has resulted in multiple injuries and five deaths including the gunman.
According to the Tulsa Police Department, the attack took place at around 5 p.m. Wednesday inside the Natalie Building at St. Francis Hospital. Law enforcement say they arrived at the scene after receiving reports about a man walking on campus with a rifle.
“Officers immediately rushed to the second floor where the shooting was taking place, when they got there they found a few people had been shot, a couple were dead at that time,” Tulsa Police Captain Richard Meulenberg told ABC News. “We also found at that time who believe and still believe to the shooter because he had a long rifle and a pistol with him.”
The identities of the four victims have not been revealed. Authorities said that the gunman died after taking his own life.
Once police determined it was no longer an active shooter situation, they began going through the five-story building to locate other potential victims.
“We are doing a meticulous floor-by-floor, room-by-room search … It’s calmed down,” Meulenberg said. “We’re trying to connect people and we’re hoping not to find any victims.”
Police have since set up a reunification site at a nearby high school.
The shooting comes about a week after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire in an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, killing 19 students and two teachers.