The latest deadly mass shooting took place in a hospital in Tulsa
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
We begin this hour with a report of another deadly mass shooting, this time in Tulsa, Okla. Police say a man carrying a rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a medical building. Investigators say the shooter killed four people and then apparently took his own life. Here's Cliff Robertson. He's the CEO of Saint Francis Hospital talking to reporters.
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CLIFF ROBERTSON: We're an organization that believes in the power of prayer. And there is nothing more this community could do for us than to pray for the families and the loved ones and the victims of this senseless act.
MARTIN: This is a developing story, coming just nine days after the shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 21. Over the Memorial Day weekend, also, a separate shooting at a festival in the town of Taft near Tulsa killed one person and left another seven wounded. Joining us now, reporter Beth Wallis from StateImpact Oklahoma. Beth, good morning.
BETH WALLIS, BYLINE: Good morning.
MARTIN: What can you tell us about the latest developments from this shooting?
WALLIS: So when Tulsans woke up Wednesday morning, the city's focus was on honoring the victims and survivors of the Tulsa race massacre. The 101-year anniversary was actually on Tuesday and Wednesday, but a shooting happened around 4:53 p.m. at the Natalie Building on the Saint Francis Hospital campus in south Tulsa. There are five dead, including the shooter, and police believe the shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And the killings drew a quick reaction from local representatives and federal officials, including the White House, which said President Biden had been briefed, and the White House also offered support to state and local officials.
MARTIN: And are police providing further details about just what happened, how the shooting took place?
WALLIS: Yeah, so it took place on the second floor of a hospital. And that floor also contains at least an orthopedic unit. Police also said they found a witness to the shootings, a person who they say was a potential victim found in a closet in the hospital.
MARTIN: Do we know anything about the victims or the shooter at this point?
WALLIS: Officials haven't yet released the victims' names, and police say the shooter is between 35 to 40 years old. Police haven't yet identified a motive for the shooting.
MARTIN: It's impossible to ignore the fact that the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, just happened. Obviously there, the focus is on the disputed police response. Is that having any effect on how police in Tulsa are dealing with this shooting?
WALLIS: You know, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum actually praised the rapid collaboration and response from the various agencies involved, a point of controversy in Texas. Here local, state and even federal law enforcement were involved.
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GT BYNUM: I also want to express our community's profound gratitude for the broad range of first responders who did not hesitate today to respond to this act of violence.
WALLIS: But Mayor Bynum also said the time for policy discussions is in the future, and right now his thoughts are with the families of the victims. And in contrast to the Uvalde shooting, the police say their response time was about three minutes. Officials say about four or five minutes passed from when the shooter came into the building to when officers made contact.
MARTIN: Beth Wallis of StateImpact Oklahoma joined us from Tulsa. Thank you so much, Beth.
WALLIS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.