A gunman carrying a rifle and a handgun killed four people and injured a number of others in a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, in the latest of a string of mass shootings across the U.S.
The shooting took place in the Natalie Building at Saint Francis Hospital. The shooter was pronounced dead at the scene; it is believed that he died by suicide.
As of Thursday morning, the motive for the shooting was unknown. It’s unclear whether the attack was targeted or whether the shooter chose to attack the hospital at random.
In addition to the four people that were killed, multiple people were wounded. According to the Tulsa Police Department, the number of individuals that were injured was below 10, and no one in that group had life-threatening injuries.
The names of the victims have not yet been released. Very little information on the shooter’s identity has been made public, although there is some indication that he is from Muskogee, Oklahoma, as there were fears that he may have left bombs in his home. A subsequent investigation found no evidence of bombs being kept there.
Tulsa’s shooting is the latest in a number of massacres that have taken place across the country over the past few weeks — including in Buffalo, New York, where a white supremacist killed 10 people in a shooting spree targeting Black people, and in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in an elementary school.
These shootings and others have led to renewed calls for Washington to pass gun legislation. Democrats, particularly in the House, have expressed support for a ban on assault weapons, a proposal that is backed by President Joe Biden. However, the chances of such legislation passing in the Senate are slim, as it will likely be blocked by a Republican filibuster.
House Democrats are pushing for a bill that would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons to anyone under the age of 21. Their legislation would also ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, increase penalties on “straw purchases” of guns, and require the safe storage of weapons, especially in households with children.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Senate, led by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), are pushing for a narrower proposal that has a better chance of passage. That bill would focus on creating state-based “red flag” programs, increasing school safety standards, and funding mental health initiatives.
It’s unclear whether legislation that includes those policies could pass in the Senate without being blocked by the filibuster, but members of the bipartisan group have noted that talks are in progress to address the country’s gun violence crisis.