Tulsa Hospital Shooting Suspect Was a Patient Who Had Recent Back Surgery and Targeted His Doctor: Cops

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said officers found a note on the suspect's body that "made it clear he came in with the intent to kill" his doctor and "anyone who got in his way"

The suspect in Wednesday's deadly mass shooting at a Tulsa hospital targeted a doctor who had performed back surgery on him last month, Tulsa Police Department Chief Wendell Franklin told reporters during a press conference Thursday.

Franklin said Michael Louis killed four in the hospital — Dr. Preston Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Green and a patient, William Love — in a rampage on the second floor of the Natalie Medical Building on the Saint Francis Hospital Campus.

Phillips was the doctor who recently performed surgery on Louis.

"They stood in the way," Franklin said of the other three victims. "And Louis gunned them down."

Chief Wendell Franklin Tulsa

As the officers approached what they thought to be the location of the gunman, they heard gunfire they believe was the suspect taking his own life.

Two weapons were found at the scene, according to Franklin: a semiautomatic, AR-15-style rifle purchased at a local gun shop on the day of the shooting and semiautomatic handgun purchased May 29 at a pawn shop.

"We also found a letter on the suspect that made it clear he came in with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way," Franklin added. "He blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery."

Preston J. Phillips, M.D.
Saint Francis Health System

The suspect went into the hospital for back surgery on May 19, Franklin said. He was a patient of Dr. Phillips' and was released on May 24.

After his release, Franklin said the suspect called several times during a period of several days, complaining of pain and wanting additional treatment.

"On May 31st, Dr. Phillips saw Mr. Louis again for additional treatment. Yesterday, June 1st, Louis called Dr. Phillips office again complaining of back pain and wanting additional assistance," the police chief said.

Dr. Phillips was a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with an interest in spinal surgery, joint reconstruction, joint replacement and the treatment of fractures, according to his bio.

"Saint Francis Health System is grieving the loss of four members of our family. As a faith-based organization, the only recourse we have at this moment is to pray while we navigate this tragedy," the organization, which operates the hospital, said Thursday, according to Oklahoma's News on 6.

Stephanie J. Husen, D.O.
Saint Francis Health System

Multiple others were reportedly injured in the shooting, but the number of injured people is not clear. Franklin and a hospital official said those who sustained injuries were treated and by Thursday had been released.

A call of an active shooter came in to police at 4:52 p.m. When officers arrived about four minutes later, they heard gunfire, which directed them to the second floor of the building, Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish said Wednesday.

No officers were injured in the attack.

Cars drive past the Saint Francis Hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 2, 2022. - A gunman has killed at least four people at the hospital, police said -- the latest in a string of mass shootings across the US in recent weeks. The killings come as Texas families bury their dead after a school shooting left 19 young children dead just eight days earlier. The Tulsa shooting suspect, who was armed with a rifle and a handgun during his attack on the Saint Francis hospital campus, died by suicide, police said June 1.

A woman whose husband works in the Warren Clinic Tower on the Saint Francis campus recalled the terrifying text message she received from him amid the active shooter situation.

"I was at work and he messaged me saying, 'There's an active shooter, shots have been fired,' and that was all," she told NBC News, adding that she frantically responded to him and asked if he was okay. "And then I got the three dots to show he was messaging back and then it stopped. So I never got a response, so obviously, I freaked out."

The woman's husband eventually responded telling her he was okay and that they had taken shelter in the basement.

Lifelong Tulsa resident Kalen Davis told CNN she was waiting in traffic in the area when she saw multiple police cars rush to the scene.

"I just knew that it was a shooting situation because I saw police running with rifles," Davis, 45, told the outlet. "That's when I got emotional."

The shooting at Saint Francis Hospital comes a little over a week after a gunman stormed the campus of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers.

Less than two weeks before the Uvalde massacre – the second-deadliest school shooting in American history – an alleged white supremacist killed 10 people inside a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. Authorities have said the Buffalo shooting was a hate crime in which the suspect targeted Black people.

The same weekend, a gunman opened fire at Geneva Presbyterian church in Laguna Hills, Calif., injuring four and killing one.

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