TULSA — Minutes before 5:00 p.m. on June 1, 2022 a man named Michael Louis entered an office building on the Saint Francis Hospital campus in midtown Tulsa through a second-floor entrance from a parking garage.
Within moments, he had shot and killed four people before taking his own life as police officers began rushing to the scene from the ground floor.
Among his victims were two doctors, a receptionist, and the husband of a patient.
It later developed that Louis had written a letter explaining the attack, saying he had targeted his orthopedic surgeon in particular but that he’d planned to kill anyone who got in his way, according to police.
A year later, staff at St. Francis will mark the occasion privately, with the hospital planning a brief press conference but largely asking media to stay away on the anniversary of that tragedy.
Instead, they offered interviews with some of the hospital’s top officials on May 17th.
KRMG spoke with several of them, including the CEO of Saint Francis Health Systems, Dr. Cliff Robertson.
“Life before June first, and life after June first, are different, and are always going to be different,” he said.
“It’s probably not dissimilar to the trauma that a family would go through if they lost a child, or lost a loved one in some other way,” he told KRMG. “It changes you, and will always change you, and that... that has probably been my biggest learning. I’ve had to relearn it, I guess, in the last year.”
His thoughts return to that tragedy daily, as he uses a key card to access any number of doors - a security measure implemented in the wake of the murders.
He wrote the names of the four victims on sticky notes, which remain attached to his office computer monitor to this day, as another reminder.
He says that’s so he never forgets those who were lost, and those who loved them.
“I know what our orthopedic clinic staff went through. I know what the families who had people in that clinic - eeither patients or staff - I mean, I can’t imagine what they feel, and felt that day and feel still to this day,” Roberts said.
The other emotion he feels with regard to the incident is gratitude for the immediate and decisive response from law enforcement, as well as the outpouring of support from the general community.
“The one thing that I’ll never forget is just looking out through one of the windows from the second floor where we were, and just seeing the first responders, the law enforcement response,” he said. “It’s hard for people - and I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ll speak for myself - the recognition that they responded in such force for us was, um... it still chokes me up today.”