The Tulsa Shooter Bought the AR-15 on the Same Day as the Shooting

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Police respond to the scene of a mass shooting at St. Francis Hospital on June 1, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Police respond to the scene of a mass shooting at St. Francis Hospital on June 1, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by J Pat Carter / Getty Images)

The shooter at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma killed his doctor and three other people on Wednesday using an AR-15 he bought that day and a handgun he’d purchased just a few days prior, according to officials.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said at a Thursday press conference that Michael Louis killed four people, Drs. Preston Phillips and Stephanie Husen as well as patient William Love and receptionist Amanda Green, before killing himself. 


Franklin said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms had traced the shooter’s weapon purchases. The AR-15 had been purchased around 2 p.m., while the shooter bought the semi-automatic handgun used at a pawn shop on May 29. Police recovered 30 bullet casings from the AR-15 and seven more from the handgun at the scene.

The shooter blamed Phillips, his doctor, for back pain he suffered after a May 19 surgery. 

“After release, Louis called several times over several days complaining of pain and wanted additional treatment,” Franklin said. Dr. Phillips saw the shooter on May 31, and the shooter reportedly called Phillips’ office again on Wednesday “complaining of back pain and wanting additional assistance.” 

The shooter entered the hospital’s orthopedic clinic just a few hours after buying the AR-15 and began shooting, police said. A letter was found on the shooter stating he intended on “killing Dr. Phillips and anyone who came in his way.” 

In addition to the four people who were killed, several more were injured with non-life threatening injuries. 

Oklahoma has notoriously lax gun laws, with no waiting period to purchase a weapon, according to the pro-gun control Giffords Law Center. The state also passed the country’s first “anti-red flag” law in 2020, prohibiting cities and other local governments from enacting their own laws allowing police and family members to petition for temporary removal of guns from people deemed at-risk of committing violence against themselves or others. 

The shooting in Tulsa happened during a particularly violent period of mass shootings in America, following the white supremacist masacre of 10 people at a Buffalo, New York grocery store and the murder of 19 children and two teachers at an Uvalde, Texas elementary school last week. Democrats in Congress and in statehouses across the country have vowed to take up new gun control legislation in order to combat the crisis. 

While Sen. Mitch McConnell directed Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to attempt to find a compromise with Senate Democrats on new legislation following the Uvalde massacre, most congressional Republicans have refused to entertain new laws to combat gun violence. 

“What happened today in Tulsa is a senseless act of violence and hatred,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, the governor who signed the anti-red flag bill into law, said in a statement Wednesday. “Sarah and I are praying for the families of those who lost their lives and for those who were injured.”,


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