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 the St. Francis medical campus, which “turned into an active shooter situation.” During a news conference Wednesday, Tulsa Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish confirmed the number of dead and said the suspected gunman also was dead, adding that police believe the shooter took his own life.
It was unclear what prompted the deadly assault.
“What happened today in Tulsa is a senseless act of violence and hatred,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement. “I am grateful for the quick and brave 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 to grieve with those whose lives have been forever changed.”
Dalgleish did not release the name of the suspected shooter, but police found that he had a rifle and a handgun, and said it appeared both weapons were fired at the scene.
St. Francis Health System locked down its campus Wednesday afternoon because of the situation at the Natalie Medical Building. Police said officers were going 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 occurred 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 G.T. Bynum told reporters at the news 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 for you to think about what the St. Francis Health System and the people that work there mean to our community, what they mean to you and your family and your neighbors. The heroes who protect you.”
Kevin Foristal, of Broken Arrow, waited for his wife at the designated reunification area at Memorial High School just over a block away 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.
‘NOTHING TRUMPS EASY ACCESS TO A GUN’:We may be exceptional, but we’re also tragically flawed. Especially when it comes to guns.
She told him hospital staff turned out the lights, locked the doors and covered windows with cardboard, Foristal said.
He said he is “elated” to have good news from his loved one, but “there’s people out there where that’s not going to happen.”
The shooting in Tulsa comes after two high-profile shooting massacres in Buffalo, New York, where 10 Black people were killed, and Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in May.
Contributing: The Associated Press