A man armed with a handgun and a rifle killed at least four people at a hospital in Tulsa on Wednesday before killing himself, police said. It was the United States’ 20th mass shooting since the Uvalde, Tex., massacre last week, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and the 233rd of the year.
Tulsa police responded shortly before 5 p.m. local time to calls of a man armed with a rifle at St. Francis Hospital, and heard gunfire as they entered the building, Capt. Richard Meulenberg of the Tulsa Police Department said. As officers were entering the scene, the gunfire stopped suddenly, and they found the gunman dead, having apparently killed himself moments earlier.
Meulenberg told The Post that the shooting was not “random” or done “indiscriminately,” and that the gunman “had purpose” and “intent” — though he said police were still working out what that intent was. The shooting was confined to the second floor of the building, he said. He declined to identify the target or victims, citing the need to inform their families first. Authorities identified the gunman as a 35- to 40-year-old who fired both a rifle and a handgun.
In a statement Wednesday, the hospital system said it is “grieving the loss of four members of our community. As a faith based organization, the only recourse we have at this moment is to pray while we navigate this tragedy."
Naomi Andrews, 39, who takes her children to an orthopedic practice on the St. Francis medical campus, was shaken by the shooting, saying it reminded her of other recent violence. She did not want her kids going to school the day after the Uvalde elementary school shooting. Her children went anyway — and their campus promptly went into lockdown because of a shooting threat, she said.
“It feels like the walls are closing in,” with one incident after another, she said.
The Tulsa shooting happened the same day as funerals for some of the victims of the Texas shooting, which left 19 children and two teachers dead. Also that day, the White man accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store on May 14 was indicted on 25 counts, including domestic terrorism and murder as a hate crime.
President Biden, who spent nearly four hours Sunday visiting with the families of Uvalde victims, told reporters then he would not give up on efforts to achieve “common-sense” gun legislation. Biden has been briefed on the shooting in Tulsa, according to the White House.