With hardly any time to recover from the traumatic massacre of 19 children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde last week, the United States was once again the scene of another mass shooting. This time it happened in a hospital in Tulsa, the second most populous city in Oklahoma. A heavily armed shooter entered St. Francis Hospital and killed four people before taking his own life, local police have said.

The shooter has been identified as Michael Louis, a black man who purchased an AR-15 assault weapon the same day as the incident and was also carrying a handgun. Louis killed his doctor, Preston Phillips, and another doctor, Stephanie Husen. The other two deceased have been identified as William Love and Amanda Green, a receptionist and a patient.

Apparently, the author of the umpteenth massacre in the US so far this year -233, according to the Archive of Violence with Arms-, was not satisfied with the back operation to which Phillipps underwent, as explained to journalists by the Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin. The surgery took place on May 24 and in the days that followed, the patient called “several times complaining of pain and asking for additional treatment.”

The doctor saw Louis again last Tuesday, but he called again on Wednesday because of the constant pain in his back. He insisted on receiving more treatment. Shortly after 2 pm that same day, he walked into a local gun store, bought his semi-automatic rifle, and proceeded to go on a killing spree at the hospital.

Louis arrived at the medical center a few minutes before 5 p.m. and went up to the second floor armed with his rifle and pistol. The police response was quick, according to the authorities, who arrived at the scene minutes later. They say that shortly after the shooting stopped and they found the shooter shot dead. He apparently had taken his own life.

Tulsa police have confirmed they have recovered a letter from Louis stating that he was going to kill the doctor who operated on him and “anyone who gets in his way.” After the many criticisms leveled against the agents in Uvalde, Texas, who took more than an hour to arrest the murderer, Salvador Ramos, the local security forces have insisted that the intervention was “immediate and without hesitation” and that Louis took off life two minutes after they arrived at the scene.

Cliff Robertson, the hospital’s chief executive, said they have a very tough road ahead of them. “We are more than 10,000 people who are part of the St. Francis health system, who every day dedicate their lives to caring for people in need. This horrible and incomprehensible act is not going to change that.” The attack occurs when the medical center began to overcome the pandemic, according to doctors quoted by local media. “To think that our caregivers have been the victims is incomprehensible to me,” said Dr. Ryan Parker.

The massacre also coincides with the 101st anniversary of the bloody day baptized as Black Wall Street, when a mob of white men killed 300 African-Americans and almost 10,000 people were left homeless after 35 blocks of the Greenword neighborhood were razed to the ground. north of Tulsa. It also prolongs a bloody streak in recent weeks in the US that began on May 14 in Buffalo, New York.

That day, an 18-year-old, a proponent of white supremacist theories, walked into a supermarket in a majority black neighborhood and killed 10 people, all of them African American. A few days later, a man staged another horror scene at a church in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. The balance: one dead and five wounded.

The one in Uvalde, a small town in western Texas, is currently the most serious so far this year. Ramos, an 18-year-old boy, managed to access the local primary school and end the lives of 19 children and two of their teachers, in a massacre that has once again put on the table the urgency of reforming the laws on the sale of weapons.

At the moment there have been talks between Republican and Democratic senators to reach an agreement and establish limits or controls on the sale of military-style assault weapons, although it is expected to be a difficult path to travel due to the historical resistance of the conservative caucus. Meanwhile, Tulsa Mayor George Bynum has ordered all flags on official buildings to fly at half-staff for the next four nights in honor of the four victims. The mourning in the US for the shootings begins to be permanent.

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