A gunman who killed four people at a Tulsa hospital on Wednesday targeted a doctor who had treated him and bought the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting on the day of the attack, police said.
Officials said the gunman was armed with a rifle and handgun when he went to St. Francis Hospital shortly before 5 p.m.
He opened fire inside the Natalie Building wounding several people. Four others, three employees and one patient, were killed.
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said at a news conference Thursday that the shooter underwent back surgery on May 19 by Dr. Preston Phillips, who was identified as one of the victims.
The shooter was released from surgery on May 24 and repeatedly complained of being in pain in the days afterward. On May 31, the shooter received additional treatment at the hospital but still complained of pain, Franklin said.
The chief said the shooter “blamed” Phillips for his pain.
Hours before the killings, the shooter purchased an AR-15 style rifle from a gun store. Days before that he had bought a semi-automatic pistol from a pawn shop, according to Franklin.
The chief said the shooter had a letter with him “which made it clear that he came in with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way.”
“He blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery,” he said.
On Wednesday, Tulsa Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish said that part of the shooting appears to have occurred inside an orthopedic facility on the building’s second floor, where the victims and gunman were found. nside an orthopedic facility on the building’s second floor, where the victims and gunman were found.
The shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as officers were kicking in a stairwell door to gain access to the building.
The shooting follows killings in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and New Orleans. A span of violence also hit several U.S cities over Memorial Day weekend leaving at least 156 people dead and 412 injure
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.d from 5 p.m. ET Friday to 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to a preliminary count by The Gun Violence Archive.