Dr. Preston Phillips: Tribute to Tulsa Shooting Victim

dr preston phillips

St. Francis Hospital/Facebook Dr. Preston Phillips

Dr. Preston Phillips was the target of a gunman who murdered four people in the Tulsa medical center mass shooting. He was remembered for his kindness and professionalism as an orthopedic surgeon. Former patients described him as upfront and a person who did not mince words but who went above and beyond the call of duty for his patients, performing high-risk surgeries with success.

Michael Louis was named as the suspect in the mass shooting at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police said he took his own life at the scene.

In a news conference, police named the victims as Phillips, Amanda Glenn, William Love and Dr. Stephanie Husen. Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said one victim was a receptionist (Glenn), one was a patient (Love) and two were doctors. He said that Louis targeted Phillips because he was upset about back pain from a surgery Phillips had performed on him in late May. As for the other victims: “They stood in the way, and Louis gunned them down,” Franklin said.

The mass shooting comes as the nation reels from mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

Here’s what you need to know about Dr. Preston Phillips:

Phillips Was a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon


St. Francis HospitalDr. Preston Phillips.

Phillips’ hospital bio says, “Dr. Phillips is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with an interest in spinal surgery, joint reconstruction – including joint replacement and the treatment of fractures.”

Phillips was an orthopedic surgery specialist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to Health Grades.

Phillips Was Remembered as a ‘Wonderful, Gentle, Kind’ Person With an Infectious Smile

preston phillips

FacebookDr. Preston Phillips.

Tributes flowed for Phillips on social media. “Dr. Phillips was a wonderful, gentle, kind person with an infectious smile and kind word for everyone. I ran into him on the courts just a week or two ago. He never fails to look you in the eye and give you a bright, genuine smile and warm greeting. His words are always kind and encouraging. He was a true gentleman in every respect both on and off the courts,” wrote one person.

Another person wrote, “This man was the most amazing man I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and work with. His hugs were strong and warm. As was his heart. I hugged him two times yesterday, not knowing those would be the last hugs I’d ever get. When I was pregnant with my son, he called me ‘Pasta Sauce,’ referring to Prego 😂! He would say ‘We can’t shoot x-rays yet until Pasta Sauce gets behind the shield!’ Oh how it made me laugh 😂…He was so thoughtful and caring and I will miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful wife and their children. R.I.P. Dr. Phillips, until we meet again. 💕”

Another person wrote, “Dr. Preston Phillips MD- wonderful physician, surgeon, father, and husband. He was a kind, gentle, warming soul that could put you at ease with his smile. He gave so much to the community and north Tulsa. He volunteered time as the board of directors at the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Center in the Greenwood area. One of the brightest physicians I have had the pleasure to know, graduating from Harvard Medical School and serving patients for over 20 years.”

Former Patients Praised Phillips as Having an ‘Absolutely Fantastic’ Bedside Manner & Going ‘Above & Beyond’

preston phillips

FacebookDr. Preston Phillips.

Former patients left reviews for Phillips on Google.

Wrote one patient, “Dr. Phillips presents as stern, yet friendly and professional. He doesn’t mince words, so those of fragile emotional maturity may not want to visit him.”

Another wrote, “Dr. Phillips is one of the best orthopedic spinal surgeons in Tulsa. I had previous surgery on my back by another Doctor and I continued to have problems. Dr. Phillips attempted a high risk surgery on me and was successful. He talks to you like your a person and not a number. He has a very unique and effective recovery regimen.”

Another wrote:

Dr. Phillips completed a T4-L4 fusion on my spine to correct severe scoliosis in 2010. 10 years later, I am doing well and Dr. Phillips is still my orthopedic dr. His bedside manner was absolutely fantastic, he came to see me every day after surgery while I was in the hospital, and answered a phone call late in the day on Christmas from the emergency room 11 days after surgery. He has been excellent since I had surgery as well. He is upfront, he will not over prescribe pain meds and explains clearly the risks of taking them. He will not coddle you and tell you everything will be okay, he is honest and clear about reality. I appreciate that very much in my health care, but I understand it’s not for everyone.

William Love, one of the victims, wrote a past review for Phillips. “I had major back surgery in February 2021. Dr Phillips and his staff at Saint Francis Hospital did a excellent job before, during, and after surgery,” he wrote. “Still doing follow up appointments and making great progress to full recovery. All thanks to a excellent orthopedic surgeon.”

Wrote another former patient, “4 years ago Dr. Phillips is by far the finest orthopedic surgeon any patient can have. We are very lucky to have him in Tulsa. He has always gone above and beyond in the care of his patients.”

Phillips Died in an Exam Room, Police Said

tulsa mass shooting

Tulsa Police DepartmentThe scene outside St. Francis Hospital, where four victims died in a mass shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 1.

Phillips was found deceased in an exam room, according to Franklin. Police found a letter explaining the shooter’s motive. On May 19, Louis went into the hospital for a back surgery. The physician was Phillips. Louis was released on May 24, Franklin said in the news conference. Louis called over several days complaining of pain and wanting additional treatment. On May 31, Phillips saw Louis again for additional treatment.

On June 1, Louis called Phillips’ office again, complaining of back pain and wanting additional assistance, Franklin said.

“He blamed Dr. Phillips for the ongoing pain following the surgery,” Franklin said.

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