Four people were killed in the shooting at the Tulsa medical building, Okla.
A gunman armed with an assault rifle and a handgun killed four people Wednesday at a Tulsa medical building on the hospital campus, police said. in a series of deadly mass shootings across the country in recent weeks.
Tulsa Police Department Deputy Superintendent Eric Dalgleish confirmed the death toll and said the shooter also died, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Recent outbreaks of gun violence across the country, including the killing of 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school eight days ago by an 18-year-old gunman armed with an assault rifle AR-style semi-auto, led to Democratic Party leaders. amplify their call for more restrictions on guns, while Republicans are emphasizing more security at schools.
The split reflects partisan divides that have hampered action in Congress and many state capitals on how to best respond to the record high number of gun-related deaths in the US.
Dalgleish said it was unclear what led to the deadly attack in Tulsa.
“It looks like both of these weapons were fired at the scene,” Dalgleish said. “The arrival officers heard gunfire in the building, and that’s what led them to the second floor.”
The medical campus is locked
Police responded to the call about three minutes after dispatchers received the report at 4:52 p.m. local time and contacted the gunman about five minutes later, at 5:01 p.m., Dalgleish said. .
“I’m happy with what we know so far about the response of our officers,” Dalgleish said.
The time it took for police officers in Uvalde, Texas, to engage the gunman in last week’s deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School has become a major focus of that investigation. Officers waited more than an hour to disrupt the classroom where the gunman attacked.
Police Captain Richard Meulenberg also said many people were injured and the medical complex was a “catastrophic scene.” The exact number of injured was not immediately released.
Police and hospital officials said they were not ready to be identified.
Health System St. Francis locked down his campus on Wednesday afternoon because of the situation at the Natalie Health Building. The Natalie Building houses an outpatient surgery center and a breast wellness center. Dalgleish said a chiropractic clinic is also on the second floor, where officers discovered the shooter and several victims.
“This campus is sacred ground for our community,” said Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum. “For decades, this campus has been the place where heroes come to work every day to save the lives of those in our community.”
Bynum added: “For now, my thoughts are with the victims. If we want to discuss policy, that’s something to be had in the future, but not tonight.”
A ‘this is happening here’ moment
Philip Tankersley, 27, was leaving his father’s room at nearby Saint Francis Hospital around 5pm when hospital staff said there was an active shooter in the building across the street, locking the door and police Tell them to stay away from windows.
Tankersley said he and his mother hid in his father’s hospital room for more than an hour, trying to learn trivia from the TV news and through the nurses. He said they heard “silver horse” and “first-degree trauma” being announced over the hospital’s loudspeaker and wondered if they were safe in the room.
“I’m not particularly worried because the two people I need to watch out for are in the same room as me,” he said. “But it was definitely a ‘this is happening here’ moment.”
A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also at the scene. A reunion center for families to search for their loved ones has been established at a nearby high school.
Wednesday’s shooting also comes just over two weeks after the Buffalo supermarket shooting by a white man who allegedly killed 10 Black people in a racist attack. Recent Memorial weekend saw multiple mass shootings across the country, including at an outdoor festival in Taft, Okla., about 70 kilometers from Tulsa, even as shootings erupted Single accounts for most gun deaths.
Since January, there have been 12 mass shootings that have left four or more people dead, according to The Associated Press / USA TODAY / Northeastern University’s mass murder database. The database says those shootings left 76 people dead, including 31 adults and children, in Buffalo and Texas. The death toll does not include the suspects in the shooting.