A gunman who killed his surgeon and three others at a medical office in Tulsa blamed the doctor for his continued pain after a recent back operation and bought an AR-style rifle just hours before the riot, police said Thursday.
The patient called the clinic several times, complaining of pain, and specifically referred to the doctor who performed the operation, and then committed suicide when police arrived, Tulsa Police Chief Wendall Franklin said.
The doctor, Dr. Preston Phillips, was killed on Wednesday, along with Dr. Stephanie Hussein, receptionist Amanda Glenn and visitor William Love, police said. The attack took place on the campus of St. Francis’ health system in Tulsa. The boss identified the shooter as Michael Lewis, 45, of Muskogee, Oklahoma.
It was the latest in a series of mass shootings in the United States, including the deadly shooting at a school in Uwalde, Texas, and an attack on a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. A recent Remembrance Day weekend marked a number of mass shootings across the country, including at an open-air festival in Taft, Oklahoma, 45 miles from Tulsa, although single deaths accounted for most gun deaths.
President Joe Biden turned to the carnage in recent years from mass shootings with AR-style rifles in circulation on Thursday night.
“Since the mass shooting at a primary school in Uwalde killed 21 people, including 19 children,” just over a week ago, there were 20 mass shootings in America, each with four or more people killed or injured, “he said. Describing the Tulsa Shooting as one of 20 mass shootings, the president said: “This does not count the carnage we see every day that does not make the headlines.
Lewis was carrying a letter saying he was targeting Phillips, Franklin said. The letter “makes it clear that he came with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who stood in his way,” Franklin said. “He blamed Dr. Phillips for the continuing pain after the operation.”
Franklin said Phillips underwent surgery on May 19 and Lewis was released from hospital on May 24.
He said Lewis had called the doctor’s office “several times in a few days”, saying he was still in pain and had seen Phillips on Tuesday for “additional treatment”. Lewis called the office again on Wednesday, “complaining of back pain and asking for extra help,” he said.
The phone number for Michael Lewis in Muskogee was closed on Thursday.
Phillips, 59, was an orthopedic surgeon with an interest in spinal surgery and joint reconstruction, according to a profile on the clinic’s website. He once served as a lead physician for the Tulsa WNBA team before the franchise moved out of the state, according to Tulsa World.
Dr. Cliff Robertson, president and CEO of the Saint Francis Health System, called Phillips “the perfect gentleman” and “the man we should all strive to emulate.” He said the three employees killed were “the three best people in the world” and that “they don’t deserve to die that way”.
Hussein was 48 and Glenn was 40, officials said.
Love, a 73-year-old retired army sergeant, was a patient at the clinic, but that day he accompanied his wife, Deborah, on her six-month check-up, their daughter Karen Denise Love said.
Police have received reports that Love kept the door closed in hopes of allowing others to escape the shooter through another door, Franklin said in response to reporters’ questions.
Karen Love said her parents were in the examination room with one of Phillips’ assistants when the couple heard the commotion outside. When they found out it was a shot, Karen Love said her father grabbed the doorknob from the inside of the room.
“When they heard this man walking up and down the hall, they knew it was a shooting,” said Karen Love. “They thought someone was just shooting at people. My father tried to keep the door as close as possible.
Police believe Lewis bought his weapons legally, Franklin said. Lewis bought an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the afternoon of the shooting and a pistol on Sunday, the police chief said.
Franklin praised law enforcement, 911 operators and emergency services for their “immediate response” to Wednesday’s attack. Police responded to the call about three minutes after dispatchers received the signal at 4:52 p.m. and contacted the attacker at 5:01 p.m., authorities said Wednesday.
Franklin said police believe Lewis shot himself about 39 seconds after the first officers entered the building.
“Our training has led us to take immediate action without hesitation,” he said. “That’s exactly what the officers are doing, and that’s what they did in this case.”
The length of time it took police officers in Uwalde, Texas, to face the shooter during last week’s deadly school shooting at Rob Elementary School has become a key focus of this investigation. Police waited for more than an hour to break into the classroom, where an 18-year-old gunman attacked with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle, killing 19 children and two teachers.
Democrat leaders have stepped up calls for greater gun restrictions following the Uwalde shooting, while Republicans are pushing for more security in schools. The split reflects a guerrilla divide that has hampered action in Congress and many state capitals on how best to respond to a record high number of gun deaths in the United States.
Oklahoma House Democrats called for a special session Thursday to review gun safety legislation, but it is unlikely to happen in the Republican-controlled legislature, which has been pushing for a relaxation of firearms restrictions for years.
Republican Gov. Kevin Steet, who is running for re-election, said last week after the shooting in Texas that it was too early to talk about firearms policy. The Firearms Group, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, is an influential force in the state Capitol, and the first bill Stit signed after taking office in 2019 was a measure that allows most adults to openly carry firearms without pre-required experience. inspection or training.
There have been 12 shootings since January that have killed four or more people, according to the Associated Press (USA TODAY) Northeastern University mass murder database. The shootings killed 76 people, including 35 adults and children in Buffalo, Uwalde and Tulsa, the database said. The death toll does not include suspects in the shooting.
Murphy reported from Oklahoma City; Blood from Little Rock, Arkansas; and Foody of Chicago. AP researchers Jennifer Farrar and Randy Hershaft contributed from New York.
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The gunman from Tulsa bought an AR-style rifle hours before killing his doctor, 3 others
Source link The gunman from Tulsa bought an AR-style rifle hours before killing his doctor, 3 others