A man who blamed his surgeon for continuing pain after a recent back surgery bought an AR-style rifle hours before he opened fire at a Tulsa, Okla., medical office, killing the doctor and three other people in an attack that ended with him taking his own life, police said Thursday.

The gunman called the clinic repeatedly complaining of pain and specifically targeted the doctor who performed the surgery, Tulsa police Chief Wendell Franklin said.

That physician, Dr. Preston Phillips, was killed Wednesday, along with Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and patient William Love, police said. The attack occurred on the campus of Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa.

It was the latest in a series of mass shootings in United States including the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and an attack on a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y.

The 45-year-old gunman carried a letter that said he was targeting Phillips, Franklin said. The letter “made it clear that he came in with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way,” Franklin said. “He blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery.”

Victims remembered fondly

Phillips was an orthopedic surgeon with an interest in spinal surgery and joint reconstruction, according to a profile on the clinic’s website. He once served as lead physician for Tulsa’s WNBA team before the franchise moved out of state, according to the Tulsa World.

Dr. Cliff Robertson, president and CEO of Saint Francis Health System, called Phillips a “consummate gentleman” and “a man that we should all strive to emulate.”

He said the three employees who were killed were “the three best people in the entire world” and that they “didn’t deserve to die this way.”

By 4difm

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