Tulsa gunman Michael Louis targeted doctor who had operated on him

Michael Louis killed four people, including Dr. Preston Phillips. Tulsa Police Department
Michael Louis killed four people, including Dr. Preston Phillips.
Tulsa Police Department

 

A deranged gunman with a rifle and a handgun who killed four people at an Oklahoma medical building targeted a doctor who previously operated on him “and anyone who got in his way,” authorities said Thursday.

The gunman, identified as Michael Louis, opened fire at about 5 p.m. Wednesday at an orthopedic office on the second floor of the Natalie Medical Building at Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa, Police Chief Wendell Franklin told reporters at a press conference.

Louis, 45, of Muskogee, went to the hospital on May 19 for back surgery, which was performed by Dr. Preston Phillips. Louis was released on May 24, Franklin said.

Louis proceeded to call several times to complain of pain and sought additional treatment. He then saw Phillips on Tuesday and called the doctor’s office again on Wednesday seeking additional help, Franklin said.

It is unclear what sort of help Louis was seeking.

Police said Dr. Preston Phillips was intentionally targeted by gunman Michael Louis. Saint Francis Health System
Police said Dr. Preston Phillips was intentionally targeted by gunman Michael Louis.
Saint Francis Health System

A webpage on Saint Francis’ website identified Phillips as a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery and joint reconstruction.

About an hour before the shooting, Louis legally bought a semi-automatic AR-15-style rifle from a local gun store and purchased a semi-automatic handgun on May 29 from a local pawn shop, Franklin said.

Cops recovered dozens of spent shell casings from the shooting scene, as well as a letter penned by Louis that made it clear he intended to kill Phillips and “anyone who got in his way” following the surgery that he claimed had left him ailing, Franklin said.

Police officers and emergency personnel respond to a call about a man armed with a rifle at the Natalie Building at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa Police Department/AFP via Getty Images
Police officers and emergency personnel respond to a call about a man armed with a rifle at the Natalie Building at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tulsa Police Department/AFP via Getty Images

“He blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery,” Franklin told reporters.

In addition to Phillips, Franklin identified Wednesday’s shooting victims as Dr. Stephanie J. Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and William Love, who was a patient at the clinic.

“They stood in the way and Louis gunned them down,” Tulsa’s top cop said. “He began firing at anyone who was in his way.”

Louis took his own life following the rampage, authorities said.

He managed to get inside the facility via a second-floor garage, where he parked before he “worked his way into the building,” Franklin said.

Investigators on Thursday were looking into whether police had any prior contact with Louis.

A woman who lives just a few doors away from Louis, his wife and their teen daughter in Muskogee told The Post the family had been in the neighborhood for roughly five years.

Louis’ wife, whom the neighbor identified as Dr. Edith Lubin, and her daughter are “church-going religious people,” according to the neighbor who requested that her name not be published.

“But I’ve never spoken to him,” the woman said of Louis. “They’ve been quiet, good neighbors.”

Several health care-related websites identified Dr. Lubin as a family medicine physician in Muskogee. Attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.

Cops arrived at the hospital campus about three minutes after dispatchers were called for an active shooter and made contact with Louis at 5:01 p.m., Tulsa police Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish told reporters Wednesday.

Dr. Stephanie J. Husen, D.O., was a victim of the shooting. Saint Francis Health System
Dr. Stephanie J. Husen, D.O., was a victim of the shooting.
Saint Francis Health System
A gunman killed at least four people Wednesday at a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police said. Tulsa Police Department/AFP via Getty Images
A gunman killed at least four people Wednesday at a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police said.
Tulsa Police Department/AFP via Getty Images

Officers initially heard shots being fired at an orthopedic office on the second floor of the Natalie Medical Building at Saint Francis Hospital, Dalgleish said.

“That’s what directed them to the second floor,” Dalgleish said Wednesday. “Right now, we have four civilians that are dead. We have one shooter that is dead. Right now, we believe that is self-inflicted.”

William Love was also among the dead. Facebook
William Love was also among the dead.
Facebook

The shooting scene was “fairly limited” to the building’s second floor, Dalgleish said, adding that detectives were interviewing witnesses late Wednesday.

No officers were injured, Dalgleish said.

The suspect’s identity was not released Wednesday, but Dalgleish identified him as a black male believed to be between the ages of 35 and 40.

“We have confirmed he had one long gun — a rifle — and one handgun on the scene at the time,” the deputy chief said.

The Saint Francis Health System said late Wednesday it was grieving the loss of “four members of our family,” but did not identify the victims.

“As a faith-based organization, the only recourse we have at this moment is to pray while we navigate this tragedy,” officials said in a statement. “Out of respect for the families, we are not commenting on or releasing names of those lost or injured at this time.”

All appointments at the orthopedic clinic in the Natalie Building will be “closed until further notice,” Saint Francis officials said.

Tulsa police hold a presser on the medical facility shooting. Tulsa Police Department
Tulsa police hold a presser on the medical facility shooting.
Tulsa Police Department

Wednesday’s attack marked the 233rd mass shooting in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines such incidents as at least four people being shot or killed excluding the shooter.

The attack occurred just one week after an 18-year-old gunman slaughtered 19 students and two teachers on May 24 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Flags throughout Oklahoma were ordered to be flown at half-staff for four days in the aftermath of the mass shooting, officials said.

Saint Francis Health System set up a fund Thursday to help victims’ families and employees in the aftermath of the “incomprehensible” shooting.

The gunman, identified as Michael Louis, opened fire at an orthopedic office on the second floor of the Natalie Medical Building at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. Tulsa Police Department
The gunman, identified as Michael Louis, opened fire at an orthopedic office on the second floor of the Natalie Medical Building at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa.
Tulsa Police Department

“To be clear, we are not asking for donations, but we know that this is a generous community and people want to do something,” hospital officials said in statement. “This is one option.”

In a touching tribute posted early Thursday, a colleague who went on medical missions with Phillips to Africa said the late doctor was an inspiration to him.

“Dr. Phillips, I thought we were preparing to go on a surgical mission in Togo, but I found out yesterday during a shooting at work that a gunman took you away from me, our mission team, your family, your patients and the Togolese people,” Dr. Komi Folly posted on Facebook.

Phillips “always” called Folly his son — and the younger doctor considered his elder counterpart to be like a father figure.

Emergency personnel respond to a shooting at the Natalie Medical Building Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla. Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP
Emergency personnel respond to a shooting at the Natalie Medical Building Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla.
Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP

“You told me last week at work during lunchtime to not stop this project in Togo in case something happens to you,” Folly’s post continued. “I did not know that you were giving me the last advice for our journey.”

Folly is the founder and executive president of the nonprofit Light in the World Development Foundation, which seeks to provide education and health care in Togo, a country of 8.6 million where more than 55% of people live in poverty.

Folly currently works as an attending physician at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, according to the group’s website.

“I am so sad to see you go without a goodbye,” Folly’s post concluded. “Your work will continue. You will be missed. I love you. See you in heaven one day.”

 

SOURCE: New york post

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