Muskogee Mayor Shares Details About Saint Francis Shooting Suspect
News 6 - June 3, 2022 6:19 am
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma –
The Saint Francis shooting suspect Michael Louis lived in Muskogee, where he was neighbors with the town’s Mayor.
Mayor Marlon Coleman said gone are the days of thinking tragedies like that don’t happen here because, as we’ve seen, it can happen anywhere.
“Perhaps if we knew our neighbors and felt their pains and understood their problems, we could be the vessel or the vehicle to proactively cure what might be inevitable,” said Mayor Marlon Coleman.
Mayor Coleman said he waved at Michael Louis earlier this week, not knowing the man who lived less than 200 feet from his door would be accused of shooting and killing four innocent lives.
“To know that your children are in the same neighborhood, playing on the same streets, it’s indescribable,” said Coleman.
The 45-year-old shooting suspect didn’t have a criminal record; just three traffic tickets in Oklahoma and several other traffic tickets in New Jersey.
Records show Louis moved to Muskogee in 2014.
Shooter Michael Louis, 45
On Thursday, Mayor Coleman described the shooting on the Saint Francis Hospital campus as horrific and bone chilling.
“We have seen crisis in our community and we survived crisis in our community. Crisis seems to be escalating,” said Coleman. “Hope is in you. Hope is in each and every one of us. When one member of Green Country suffers, all of Green Country suffers.”
Coleman said Muskogee police are assisting Tulsa Police in the investigation.
District Attorney Larry Edwards said people shouldn’t be afraid to talk to law enforcement.
“We need people to come forward. We need people to testify. We need people to tell us what happened,” said Larry Edwards, Muskogee County District Attorney.
He said it’s been a very busy, bad four days between the shooting in Taft and the shooting in Tulsa.
“I’ve gotten very little sleep just recently,” said Edwards.
About an hour after the shooting, there were reports of a bomb at the Muskogee home where Louis had been staying. No bomb was found.
Mayor Coleman said while no one was physically injured last night, people in his community are emotionally traumatized.
“It is bone chilling so to speak to know that person was in your community and not knowing what their potential to do violence was. I think all of us go through life so self-absorbed we don’t know what’s going on and so it was very eye opening to me. Of course, now I want to know my neighbors,” said Coleman.
Coleman announced he’s working with the Green Country Behavioral Health Services to provide support to anyone impacted directly or indirectly by the tragedies.
“Traumatized children who grow into adulthood traumatized become traumatized adults and when you have a community of traumatized adults you have traumatized outcomes,” said Coleman. “Imagine all of the people who have been traumatized. Who have lost loved ones and we give them reactions? In my mind when you look at these types of tragedies, a reaction is not stronger than clicking like or love or whatever they do on social media.”
Coleman said that offer is extended to law enforcement.
“You place your lives in harm’s way on a daily basis. You have to recover bodies. You have to talk to families. You have to get the blood of others on your hands. On your badge. And on your clothes,” said Coleman.
He’s also asking religious leaders to host prayer services.
Mayor Coleman is calling on lawmakers to stop reacting and start acting. He said they need to do more to prevent mass shootings like the one in Taft over the weekend and in Tulsa on Wednesday.
“They’ve been debating for a number of years about things like a universal background check, about who should have a weapon or who shouldn’t have a weapon. Wat I’m saying is, the time for them to talk is over,” said Coleman. “What I’m saying to Congress is do something. Don’t just tell me things are bad. I tell that to people all the time things are bad but they’re gonna get better. They got the power of the purse. They’ve got the power of legislation and so what I’m saying is do something. Don’t just tell us, ‘Oh mayors all across the country we are with you.’ No, you’re not. You’re with me when I have something to work with. Today all I have to work with is telling my community things are gonna get better if you work together. But Congress needs to act.”
Nina Ground said the change should start on the local level.
“We need to reach out to each other and stop asking these representatives to give us solutions to our problems,” said Nina Ground, resident of Muskogee. “If we can do something today to make tomorrow better, don’t wait to start. Now’s the time and we’re seeing why. We don’t need to ask why. We see why.”
Coleman said you can’t put a dollar amount of safety.
He also said he will ask the city council on Monday to grant whatever budget is needed to conduct a number of active shooter training sessions over the next few weeks.
“There’s always money in the budget for training police officers,” said Larry Edwards. “It is always smart to have your SWAT team or your SOT team to be trained for these incidents. Based on what I know about the way Tulsa responded, they responded within 5 minutes, and that’s spectacular. Got to commend them for the job they did in Tulsa.”