A man armed with a rifle and handgun opened fire inside a medical building in Oklahoma on Wednesday, killing four people, police said, the latest of a series of mass shootings in the United States.
The gunman also died, apparently of a self-inflicted wound, Tulsa’s deputy police chief Eric Dalgleish told reporters outside the St Francis Hospital.
Dalgleish said police were trying to determine the man’s identity, but said he was aged between 35 and 40.
The shooting comes eight days after an 18-year-old man armed with an automatic rifle burst into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and killed 19 children and two teachers before being fatally shot himself and just more than two weeks after a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket by a white man who is accused of killing 10 Black people in a racist attack.
The site of the St Francis Hospital was sealed off on Wednesday afternoon when police learned of the attack at the Natalie Medical Building, which houses an outpatient surgery centre and a breast health centre.
Tulsa resident Nicholas O’Brien, whose mother was in a nearby building when the shooting occurred, told reporters that he rushed to the scene.
“They were rushing people out. I don’t know if some of them were injured or just have been injured during the shooting, but some of them couldn’t walk very well. But they were just kind of wobbling and stumbling and getting them out of there,” he said.
“I was pretty anxious. So once I got here and then I heard that she (his mother) was OK, the shooter had been shot and was down, I felt a lot better. It still is horrible what happened,” O’Brien said.
US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the Tulsa shooting, the White House said in a statement, adding that the administration had offered support to local officials.
Despite the recent mass shootings, gun regulation faces deep resistance in the United States, from most Republicans and some rural-state Democrats.
Biden, who visited Uvalde over the weekend, promised earlier this week to “continue to push” for reform, saying: “I think things have gotten so bad that everybody is getting more rational about it.”
Some key federal lawmakers have also voiced cautious optimism and a bipartisan group of senators worked through the weekend to pursue possible areas of compromise.
They reportedly were focusing on laws to raise the age for gun purchases or to allow police to remove guns from people considered a threat to themselves or others – but not an outright ban on high-powered rifles like the weapons used in both Uvalde and Buffalo.