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According to The Oklahoman, a man who blamed his surgeon for ongoing pain after a recent back surgery bought an AR-style rifle hours before opening fire at a Tulsa medical office on Wednesday, killing four before fatally shooting himself.
Three of the four victims were employees of the Saint Francis Health System.
Mass shootings are a uniquely American problem.
Since the devastating attack on an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last week, mass shootings around the country have been consistent at a pace of more than two a day, per the New York Times.
Some 20 shootings in which at least four people were hurt or killed have unfolded in a matter of nine days, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
The shootings came as Americans went through their ordinary routines. Outside a bar and liquor store in Michigan. At a house party in California. In a downtown area in Tennessee. And at a medical building in Tulsa, Okla., where four people were killed on Wednesday.
Tulsa police chief sees the national problem.
Chief Wendell Franklin of the Tulsa police lamented the relentlessness of mass shootings as he described “yet another act of violence upon an American city.”
The victims of the shooting lost their lives in the blink of an eye and the squeeze of a trigger. They’d spent their life coming and going as they pleased but because of the ease in which a crazed man can buy a deadly weapon, their days were ended by a kamikaze on a blood-lusted vendetta.
The victims in Tulsa deserve to be remembered for the lives they lived and the people they touched.
The Oklahoman does just that:
Dr. Preston J. Phillips
Dr. Preston J. Phillips, 59, an orthopedic surgeon and section chief at the Warren Clinic in Tulsa, is described by police as the intended target of Wednesday’s shooting.
Phillips graduated from Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed his residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.
On Facebook, a man named Phil Brewer describes knowing Phillips during residency:
“We shared a love jazz and frequently went to a small jazz club in New Haven to listen to live music. Preston introduced me to the music of Marion Meadows, a New Haven native. He was an impressive man, both physically and intellectually. He was selected as a White House fellow before going to medical school. He was one of the very few black orthopedic surgeons in the country.”
Phillips’ neighbors, Paul and Patti Bernius, remembered him as “the best type of neighbor you would want to live in your neighborhood.”
“He was just the most incredible man,” Paul Bernius said. “In character, in professionalism, in everything he did — just 10’s across the board. Think high, and then think higher — that’s my view of him.
“To do what he did with his life, from going to Harvard and everything in his profession, and still be a man you wanted to sit down and have dinner with and get to know, it’s just astounding,” Paul Bernius said. “What’s happened is just unbelievable. He will be truly missed.”
Phillips served on the board of directors for Tulsa’s John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation in the Greenwood District, which works within the community to change the nature of Tulsa’s relationship with its tumultuous past of racial violence surrounding the Tulsa Race Massacre.
In memory of his life and contribution as one of the few Black surgeons in the state, the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation will host a gathering to mourn Dr. Preston J. Phillips at the the Tower of Reconciliation in Tulsa’s John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park at 6 p.m. on Friday.
He was also a member of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, and frequently volunteered with the Tulsa County Medical Society’s free clinic, Project TCMS, according to an association spokesperson.
“Dr. Phillips was the consummate gentleman. He was — he is a man that we should all strive to emulate,” Robertson said during Thursday’s news conference.
“He is one of those doctors that was cut from the cloth of four decades ago in terms of how he felt about people and how he felt about his calling, so not only is it a shock, it is the ultimate loss for Saint Francis and for Tulsa.”
Dr. Stephanie Husen
Dr. Stephanie Husen, 48, a sports and internal medicine specialist with the Warren Clinic in Tulsa, graduated from the Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Services medical school in 2000 and completed her residency at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina.
An Oklahoma native, Husen’s Facebook page shows she is from Ponca City.
Husen attended the University of Oklahoma, where she was a Chi Omega sorority member.
The chapter shared a message of grief to its Instagram page after Husen’s death.
“Today we mourn the loss of one of our own members of PC’92. Our hearts are with the family and loved ones who lost such an incredible woman,” the post says. “She was known and loved by so many and will always be remembered. No words could ever take away the pain of those affected, but know that we are here in full support and will continue to pray.”
Husen’s neighbors told The Oklahoman she was often seen walking her dog, named Boomer, around the neighborhood. Husen would often give free medical advice to one of her neighbors when they encountered each other on walks.
“We discussed all my aches and pains when we would meet on our walks,” the neighbor said.
The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was horrified to learn of Husen’s death.
Amanda Glenn, 40, was a receptionist working in a supervisory role for the offices at the medical clinic, Robertson said.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Glenn had been with the Saint Francis Health System for nearly five years. Before that she was a registered medical assistant.
Glenn was a fan of University of Oklahoma football and St. Louis Cardinals baseball, according to her Facebook.
In a post to Facebook, her brother, Jim Massengill wrote:
“I haven’t really came up with the words yet… I honestly have no idea what to say because I’ve been hysterically crying since I found out.
“But my sister Amanda Glenn was killed in the hospital shooting yesterday … more than me, her Husband and Children need all the love and support everyone can give them … my sister was one of the most kind and caring individuals to ever live … I wish I had more to say … but I’m still in complete shock.”
Glenn’s neighbor, Debbie Thompson, described her as “a great neighbor, and a great wife.”
The Glenns had lived across from Debbie Thompson, and her husband, Joe Thompson, for several years, and the two couples had bonded while attending football games between Charles Page and Bishop Kelly, Debbie Thompson said.
When Glenn’s husband, Beau Glenn, couldn’t reach his wife Wednesday, he called Thompson’s husband, Joe. The Thompsons were at dinner for their anniversary but came home immediately to be with Beau, Debbie said.
“When Beau found out, all the family was here, and it was just a real tragic scene,” Debbie Thompson said.
Glenn leaves behind a son who just graduated Charles Page High School and a second who is soon to be a Charles Page junior.
Thompson described Glenn as an active mother who never missed her sons’ sporting events.
“I just can’t believe it’s real,” Debbie Thompson said. “You know, you just can’t believe you really know somebody that this happened to. My heart just goes out to Beau and his boys, I’ve thought about them all day.”
William Love, 73, was at the Warren clinic with a patient and was killed when he attempted to prevent the gunman from getting to Phillips, according to law enforcement officials.
Love was married to Deborah Love since 1967, and was a retired Army 1st sergeant with 27 years of service, according to information shared on social media by the Tulsa Police Department. He served one tour in Vietnam.
He is survived by his brother, daughters and their spouses, along with eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren, the police department said.
Police said Love held the door closed to allow another person to escape through another exit, in effect sacrificing his life for his wife, who was with him at the hospital.