United States: A gunman killed at least four people at a hospital building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police said — the latest mass shooting to convulse the United States as Texas families bury their dead after a school massacre nearly 10 days earlier.
The suspect, who was armed with a rifle and a handgun during his attack on the Saint Francis hospital campus, died by suicide, police said.
“Right now we have four civilians that are dead, we have one shooter that is dead, and right now we believe that is self-inflicted,” Tulsa Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish told reporters.
He said officers responded immediately after emergency calls came in reporting that a gunman had stormed into the second floor of the Natalie Building, which houses a clinic on the Saint Francis campus.
Police “were hearing shots in the building” when they arrived, according to Dalgleish, who said officers then searched floor by floor, room by room while trying to clear the building during what authorities described as an active shooter situation.
Earlier, police Captain Richard Meulenberg said officers were treating the scene as “catastrophic,” with “several” people shot and “multiple injuries.”
It was not clear how many other people might have been injured.
Dalgleish said the entire assault — from the moment emergency calls came in, to the time officers engaged the shooter — lasted about four minutes.
Dalgleish also noted that the suspect had yet to be identified.
US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting, the White House said in a statement, adding that the administration has offered support to Tulsa officials.
Elizabeth Buchner, a legal assistant who lives behind the building where the shooting occurred, said she rushed out of her house when she heard helicopters and a loud commotion coming from the direction of the hospital. “It was the most law enforcement I ve ever seen at one place in my entire life,” Buchner, 43, told AFP by telephone.
She said she witnessed a tactical team rush inside as part of a response that she described as “fast and strong,” with “no hesitation.”
Melissa Provenzano, an Oklahoma state legislator, also praised the swift response of the officers. “It could have been so much worse,” she told CNN.
But she expressed frustration at how such tragedies keep happening in America. “We deserve better than this,” she said. “These things are preventable, and it s time to wake up and address this.” CNN