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Active Assailant Attacks Tulsa Medical Facility

An active shooter event at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, healthcare building left five people dead and multiple others injured on Wednesday afternoon.

The shooter—whose identity has not yet been released by authorities—entered Saint Francis Health System’s Natalie Building before 5:00 p.m. on 1 June with a rifle and a handgun. After opening fire in the building’s orthopedic clinic, the first 911 call came in at 4:52 p.m., and officers arrived four minutes later. The arriving officers “could hear gunshots leading them to the second floor, where they made contact with the victims and the shooter at 5:01 p.m.,” according to the Tulsa World.

The shooter is thought to have left a bomb in a house in Muskogee, Oklahoma, according to the Muskogee Police Department, prior to his attack on the clinic.

The shooter is believed to have killed himself. The four victims have not been publicly identified yet. Investigators are working to determine the gunman’s motive, although officials believe the shooting was not indiscriminate, Tulsa Police Captain Richard Meulenberg told CNN.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms assisted Tulsa Police and first responders with the shooting.

Brine Hamilton, president of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS), stresses the importance of security leaders collaborating with law enforcement agencies not only during an attack but prior to one.

“You want to have those relationships established well before you’re dealing with a critical incident,” Hamilton says in an interview with Security Management. “The reality is that these events do indeed occur. It’s all about being prepared.” While some incidents can be prevented, Hamilton says, for the attacks that cannot be prevented the goal becomes minimizing the impacts.

Active shooter drills help security teams collaborate with law enforcement agencies, helping to build relationships between all involved parties as well as identifying their respective responsibilities, according to Hamilton.

In working to prevent active shooters and other attacks, Hamilton recommends leveraging technology where possible.

Shootings and other incidents of violence continue increasing in the United States, said Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton, president of Risk & Security LLC, during an Athena Security webinar on healthcare security today. The Tulsa attack comes as the latest in a recent flurry of mass shootings across the United States, including a supermarket attack in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 people dead, and a shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school where the attacker killed 19 children and two teachers dead.

“What we need is a practical solution,” Ramsey-Hamiton said. She advocated for improvements to access control, improvements on weapons screenings, risk assessments, and reviewing policies and their implementation. “Anybody can get upset about something and go to an extreme.”

Ramsey-Hamilton also stressed the importance of having an organization’s entire staff—not just members of the security team—support security efforts, such as doors that should not be left propped open. And when someone fails to comply with security policies, there need to be consequences, she said.

ASIS International offers security professionals a wide range of informational and educational resources on the prevention and mitigation of active shooter events, including Security Management articles, webinars, and standards and guidelines.