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Former WNBA Team Doctor Targeted In Oklahoma Shooting

By Jennifer Roback

On June 1, 2022, a man opened fire at the Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing four people before taking his own life.

Among those deaths was Dr. Preston Phillips, an orthopedic surgeon who previously served as the team doctor for the WNBA's Tulsa Shock.

"Lord help us, our wonderful @wnba@TulsaShock team doctor Preston Phillips was one of the innocent people murdered in the latest mass shooting," former Shock head coach Gary Kloppenburg wrote on Twitter.

"Such a kind and compassionate man who loved basketball and looked out for our players."

"The dereliction of duty by the OK legislature and @GovStitt who have failed to protect their citizenry by implementing insanely loose gun laws hits close to home," he added in a separate tweet. "RIP Doc 😭 🏀."

Phillips' passing was also acknowledged by Harvard Medical School Dean George Daley, who confirmed he was a 1990 graduate of the school.

"On behalf of the entire Harvard Medical School community, I share my deepest sympathy with all who knew and loved Dr. Phillips," Daley wrote in a statement, via WCVB.

"Tragically, this incident is the latest in a seemingly unending series of devastating shootings that serve as painful and recurring reminders that gun violence is a medical and public health crisis in this country. The most fundamental responsibility of our representative government is to ensure our safety; we need urgent legislation and action to counter this blight."

The shooter, who was later identified as 45-year-old Michael Louis, reportedly targeted Dr. Phillips because he blamed him for the pain he had following a recent surgery, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said, via the Associated Press.

Phillips reportedly performed the surgery on May 19, and Louis was later released on May 24. He then returned to the hospital just hours after purchasing an AR-style rifle on June 1 with the intent to kill Phillips.

A letter that was later discovered by police “made it clear that he came in with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way,” Franklin continued. “He blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery.”

Franklin went on to add that Louis called the doctor’s office “several times over several days” stating that he was still in pain and after seeing Phillips again on May 31, he called the following day “complaining of back pain and wanting additional assistance."

Louis' other victims include Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and visitor William Love.

The Saint Francis Hospital shooting is just one of several shootings that have happened in previous weeks, including the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 students and two teachers, as well as the Tops Supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York, that took the lives of 10 people.

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