Tulsa workers respond to mass shooting at hospital complex
The sounds of whirring helicopter blades filled the air for several hours on Wednesday as law enforcement agencies responded to a mass shooting at a Tulsa hospital complex.
Those who were at the hospital or working nearby described what Tulsa police are calling a 'catastrophic situation.'
Wade Bell has worked at the Warren Place, a property management company across the street, for over 9 years. In all his time working, Bell said he never expected something like this to happen here.
"In most buildings like this, you do active shooter training. But you never expect it to happen, especially in your back yard — or actually your building. It's a really scary event," Wade explained. "It's really sobering."
Investigators say the shooter targeted a doctor he blamed for causing ongoing pain following his back surgery in mid-May.
By 4:56 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, multiple state and federal law enforcement agencies began arriving on scene.
Kaci, a healthcare worker who takes ultrasounds at the maternal-fetal medicine center in the Kelly building, had just clocked out of work for the day.
Where Kaci works is just one walkway away from where the gunman started shooting.
"We go see labor and delivery patients so we're always walking through the Natalie Building," she said.
Kaci said she and her co-workers could have easily crossed paths with the shooter.
The gunman, who police identified as 45-year-old Michael Louis, bought an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle the same day of the shooting. Investigators said he had previously purchased a semiautomatic handgun on May 29th.
Robin Cox, a mother of four, rotates working at different buildings on Saint Francis' campus. She said Wednesday was her first day back at work in three weeks. Cox said she still can't wrap her head around the shooting.
"Why would you take someone's life?" Cox asked.
While she's thankful she wasn't working at the Natalie Building, she said she wishes she had been there to help out and to have known that her friends were okay.
"I'm supposed to be the person that's supposed to be saving people's lives, you know?" Cox said.
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin identified Dr. Preston Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, Amanda Glenn and William Love as the four people who were killed. Officials said Louis died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the attack at Saint Francis is the 233rd mass shooting this year in the U.S.