Wednesday's shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was aimed at Doctor Preston Philips, the physician the attacker blamed for his “ongoing back pain,” it was reported Thursday.
We have a letter about the suspect, which makes it clear that he went in with the intent to kill Philips, and anyone else who got in his way, said Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin. Along with Dr. Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and patient William Love were also killed, he also said. Authorities did not report on the number of people injured, while a local TV station said one of them was in critical condition.
Following the incident in which five people lost their lives, including Philips and the assailant, Tulsa Police Capt. Richard Meulenberg had already told reporters that ”This wasn’t an individual who just decided he wanted to go find a hospital full of random people. He deliberately made a choice to come here and his actions were deliberate.”
The killer had repeatedly called the clinic in an apparent attempt to find a solution from the healthcare practitioner who had performed back surgery on him. Since he found no appeasing answer, he entered the hospital with two guns and killed Dr. Phillips at the Natalie Building on the St. Francis Hospital Campus in Tulsa.
The police chief identified the shooter as Michael Louis, 45, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, reported CBS News. According to pictures of the assailant, he appeared to be of African descent.
A letter found on the gunman made it clear that he came in with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way, Franklin told reporters. The Police chief said that the gunman bought an AR-style semi-automatic rifle on the afternoon of the shooting and a handgun on Sunday.
An elderly woman had been killed Tuesday and two other persons were injured after gunfire erupted at a high school graduation ceremony in New Orleans, as gun-related episodes of violence are on the rise nationwide. A mass shooting incident had already shaken the US last week at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Texas in which several people including 19 children were killed.
US President Joseph Biden is said to be looking for ways to curtail the Constitutional right to bear arms in a move aimed at ending these unwanted consequences of such a provision. He has also been reported to have contacted New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to discuss the 2019 Christchurch slaying of 51 people in mass shootings targeting Muslims, after which New Zealand banned military-style rifles and launched a gun buy-back campaign.
Wednesday's attack was the second mass shooting this week in Oklahoma alone: a woman was killed Sunday and seven others were injured during an annual Memorial Day festival in Taft, a small town near Muskogee, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported. The shooting suspect later turned himself in.
Since January, there have been 12 shootings nationwide where four or more people have been killed, leaving a total of 76 dead. The death toll does not include the perpetrators of the shootings.