TULSA, Okla. – Four people were killed in a shooting at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, authorities said, adding that the suspected shooter was also dead.
Officers responded to a report of a man armed with a rifle at St. Francis Medical Campus, which “evolved into an active shooter situation.” At a press conference on Wednesday, Tulsa Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish confirmed the death toll and said the suspected shooter was also dead, adding that police believe the shooter committed suicide.
It is unclear what prompted the deadly assault.
“What happened today in Tulsa is a senseless act of violence and hatred,” Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said in a statement. “I am grateful for the quick and courageous actions of the Tulsa Police Department and other first responders who did their best to contain a terrible situation.”
He added, “I ask all Oklahomans to come together in support of the Saint Francis Health System community and mourn with those whose lives have been changed forever.”
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Dalgleish did not release the name of the suspected shooter, but police found he had a rifle and a handgun, and said it appeared both guns were fired at the scene.
St. Francis Health System closed its campus Wednesday afternoon due to the situation at the Natalie Medical Building. Police said officers were going from room to room in the building.
The Natalie building houses an outpatient surgery center and a breast health center. Dalgleish said at least part of the incident happened at an orthopedic center on the second floor. People were asked to avoid the area.
“This campus is sacred ground for our community,” Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum told reporters at the press conference. “For decades, this campus has been a place where heroes have come to work every day to save the lives of people in our community.”
Bynum added, “I would ask you to reflect on what St. Francis Health System and the people who work there mean to our community, what they mean to you, your family and your neighbors. The heroes who protect you .”
Kevin Foristal, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, waited for his wife at Memorial High School’s designated reunification area, just over a block from the hospital campus.
Foristal said his wife was receiving outpatient therapy at the infusion center in the main hospital building at the time of the shooting.
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She told him hospital staff had turned off the lights, locked the doors and covered the windows with cardboard, Foristal said.
He said he was ‘thrilled’ to have good news from his loved one, but ‘there are people out there where it’s not going to happen’.
The shooting in Tulsa comes after two high-profile massacres in Buffalo, New York, where 10 black people were killed, and Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in May.
Contribute: The Associated Press