Wednesday, a gunman entered the Natalie Medical Building of the St. Francis Health System in Tulsa, Oklahoma. By the time the police secured the scene, less than 40 minutes after the first 911 call, five people, including the gunman, were dead. The gunman killed himself as police announced their presence as they approached.
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin gives a highly professional recap of events beginning at the -29:16 time hack. These are the highlights.
The gunman, 45-year-old Michael Lewis, was armed with an AR-15-style modern sporting rifle and a Smith&Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The rifle was bought hours before the shooting; the pistol was purchased at a pawnshop on Sunday.
The first inkling the police had of a problem came from a woman who had a remote consultation with her physician. The doctor told her to call 911 about shots fired at the hospital before dropping off the call.
Lewis had undergone back surgery on May 19. He complained of extreme pain after the surgery, but the surgeon, Dr. Preston Phillips, refused to prescribe more medication. Also killed were another orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Green, and another patient, William Love. Love was killed while holding a door open to aid other patients in their escape. Police found a note on Lewis’s body. Chief Franklin: “We found a letter on the suspect that he wanted to kill Dr Phillips and would kill anyone that got on his way, he blamed Dr. Phillips for the pain following his surgery.”
White supremacy does not seem to be an issue here, as both the shooter and his intended victim were middle-aged Black men. The weapons appear to have been bought legally.
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