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At least four people killed at Tulsa hospital; gunman had ‘intent,’ police say

At a news conference on June 1, Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish confirmed that a gunman killed at least four people in a Tulsa hospital before taking his own life. (Video: AP)

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.

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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.

Here’s what to know

  • A news conference with city officials, law enforcement and hospital representatives is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. local time on Thursday, the St. Francis hospital system said in a Facebook update.
  • Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt praised the quick response by police and first responders, which Tulsa police said took minutes. Police responses to active shooters had been under scrutiny since the Ulvalde rampage.
  • The shooting comes exactly 101 years after a White mob pillaged a Black neighborhood in Tulsa, killing hundreds in one of the worst episodes of racial violence in the nation’s history.
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Headshot of Bryan Pietsch
President Biden has been briefed on the shooting in Tulsa, according to the White House, which is monitoring the situation and has reached out to state and local officials to offer support.