Two physicians, one receptionist and one patient were killed during a shooting inside an Oklahoma medical building on Wednesday.
A gunman, who was also a patient at the hospital himself, shot and killed Dr. Preston Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, Amanda Glenn and William Love in a medical building on the campus of Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, authorities said during a Thursday news conference.
The shooter had recently undergone surgery performed by Phillips and “blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery,” Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said. The gunman was found dead inside the hospital complex.
“We are supposed to be the ones that are caring for others during tragedies like this. To think that our caregivers were the victims is just incomprehensible to me,” Dr. Ryan Parker, the associate chief medical officer at Saint Francis and an ER physician said during a press conference Thursday.
“They died while serving others,” she said. “They died in the line of duty.”
Following an “outpouring of calls and comments from the community,” Saint Francis Health System set up a fund with the Tulsa Community Foundation to accept donations “to assist with this cause.”
The collected funds will support victims’ families and employees who were impacted.
Wednesday’s shooting is the nation’s 233rd mass shooting of 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive. CNN and the GVA define a mass shooting as a shooting that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter.
Here’s what we know about the victims:
Phillips was “a wonderful, gentle, kind person with an infectious smile and kind word for everyone,” according to Sandy Thompson, a friend of Phillips, who met the doctor at their local tennis club.
Thompson, who said she knew Phillips for about five years and saw him last month while they were both visiting the tennis club, fondly remembered Phillips as a “true gentleman” who never failed “to look you in the eye and give you a bright, genuine smile and warm greeting.”
“He made the world a better place and Preston’s presence will be deeply missed,” Thompson said told CNN.
Ruth Folly, a surgical technician at Saint Francis Hospital, told CNN she and Phillips had previously gone on several medical missions together to Africa and he touched the lives of many.
Phillips traveled yearly with the nonprofit organization, Light in the World Development Foundation, according to Folly. The group was founded by Phillips’ colleague and Folly’s father, Dr. Komi Folly, with a mission of providint surgical services to those in under-served areas of the US and Africa.
Folly’s father invited Phillips to go on a mission to Togo in West Africa in 2016, a trip the slain doctor repeated in subsequent years. He was scheduled to go on another mission to Togo in mid-June.
“You always call me a son and I call you father,” Dr. Folly wrote on Facebook. “You told me last week at work during lunchtime to not stop this project in Togo in case something happens to you. I did not know that you were giving me the last advice for our journey. I am so sad to see you go without a goodbye. Your work will continue. You will be missed.”
Dr. Cliff Robertson, president and CEO of Saint Francis Health System, called Phillips’ death “the ultimate loss for Saint Francis and for Tulsa,” he said during Thursday’s news conference.
Dr. Stephanie Husen was a doctor of osteopathic medicine at Saint Francis Hospital who was described by Robertson as “an incredible person.”
William Love was a patient at the Warren Clinic, where the shooting occurred, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during Thursday’s news conference.
“To the family of Mr. Love I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you,” Parker, the associate chief medical officer, said through tears. “When I woke this morning, I really just wanted this to all be a bad dream, but this is the reality of our world right now.”
Franklin said Love is thought to have helped others escape the attack.
“I do know that the patient victim held a door closed, I believe, is the information that I have, to allow someone to escape out of another door,” he said.
Amanda Glenn was a receptionist at the Warren Clinic, Franklin said.
Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: The Bloggers Briefing