The Oklahoma man who killed four others, then himself, expressed pain after a back operation and sought out his doctor. His physician, Dr. Preston Phillips, was among the people reported dead by Tulsa police Wednesday.
Michael Louis, of Muskogee, reportedly had back surgery May 19 and was released from hospital May 24. He called Phillips’ office several times over several days, complaining of pain. He requested additional treatment, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said in a press conference.
Phillips treated Louis Tuesday. The shooter reportedly called Phillips’ office again Wednesday before the shooting, “complaining of back pain and wanting additional assistance,” Franklin said.
Police say the shooter purchased a .40 caliber handgun days before the shooting and an AR-15 the afternoon of the attack on hospital grounds.
Louis entered Tulsa’s Saint Francis Hospital campus late Wednesday afternoon and shot dead his surgeon and three other people before fatally shooting himself, said Franklin.
Police learned about the shooting from a 4:53 p.m. Wednesday 911 call made by someone off campus who had been on a video chat with a doctor present at the building, Franklin said, adding, “The doctor told her to call 911, saying there has been a shooting.”
Responding officers arrived at 4:56 p.m., according to Franklin who explained that two minutes later officers who’d reached the second floor heard a gunshot.
“We believe that was the final gunshot, with the suspect taking his own life,” Franklin said. At least one slain person was found in the same room as the gunman as well as an uninjured female who was hiding under a desk right next to where Louis reportedly shot himself.
Officers found a letter on Louis stating his intent to kill Phillips and anyone who got in his way. “He blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery,” Franklin said, according to a CNN report.
The police chief said the others just “stood in the way, and Louis gunned them down.”
Authorities identified the other three shooting victims at the Natalie Medical Building as Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and patient William Love.
Other people were injured in the shooting, officials said at a news conference, but declined to say whether the injuries to those people were caused by gunshots or attempts to flee the scene. The exact number of the nonfatal injured was not provided during the conference, but previous reports indicated the number was fewer than 10.
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