Dr. Preston J. Phillips, a Harvard-educated orthopedic spine surgeon, has been identified as one of the victims shot and killed at St. Francis Hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday. Cops believe that the suspect, who was in pain following a back surgery performed by Dr. Preston Phillips, opened fire at the hospital with an intention to kill the doctor and anyone who got in his way.
The suspect, identified as Michael Lewis, reportedly underwent back surgery at the hospital on May 19. He was from the hospital five days later. In the ensuing days, Lewis called the hospital multiple times complaining of severe back pain. Dr. Preston Phillips met Lewis on May 31 for consultation. On June 1 morning, the suspect, who was in pain, called the hospital again. Hours later, he went to a local gun store and bought a semi-automatic rifle. He then entered the hospital campus with the gun and opened fire, killing four people.
Authorities said the suspect, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, had written a letter indicating that he “blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the [back] surgery.”
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Dr. Preston J. Phillips graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1990 and had over 32 years of experience in the medical field.
Phillips traveled every year with the nonprofit organisation, Light in the World Development Foundation, which aims to provide surgical services to the needy.
Ruth Folly, whose father founded the organisation, described Phillips as a “guy you can rely on and someone you want to have in your life because he was such a fun and loving guy,” CNN reported.
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In a Facebook post, her father, Dr. Komi Folly, wrote, “You always call me a son and I call you father. You told me last week at work during lunchtime to not stop this project in Togo in case something happens to you. I did not know that you were giving me the last advice for our journey.”