In Oklahoma, a man armed with a rifle and a handgun stormed a medical office building in south Tulsa on Wednesday, killing four people and wounding several others before turning the gun on himself. Police have not identified the shooter; they said the attack was not random, but are withholding other details. Michelle Nathan witnessed the aftermath of the assault.
Michelle Nathan: “It was sad. I was coming to the doctor, and I got my grandkids with me in this terrible scene. It’s awful. It’s sad. My daughter-in-law is from Buffalo. So, now it’s so close to home. It’s not even safe if you come outside anymore, you know? My prayers go out to everyone that’s in that building.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the Tulsa attack was the 233rd mass shooting since January 1. There have been at least 20 mass shootings since last week’s massacre of 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
In Buffalo, New York, a white man accused of murdering 10 Black people in a supermarket on May 14 was indicted Wednesday on 25 counts, including domestic terrorism and murder as a hate crime. Prosecutors say the 18-year-old was radicalized through online forums such as 4chan, authored a racist manifesto and live-streamed his shooting spree. If convicted, the gunman will face an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.
In Uvalde, Texas, hundreds of mourners gathered Wednesday for the funeral of Irma and Joe Garcia. Irma was killed alongside another teacher and 19 students last week at Robb Elementary School by a teenage gunman with an assault rifle. Two days after her murder, her husband Joe died of a fatal heart attack. They are survived by four children.
The funeral came as public anger mounted over the response of police, who waited over an hour to enter the classroom where the massacre took place. On Wednesday, it emerged that Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo told a team of Border Patrol officers not to enter the classroom where the gunman killed 21 people. The officers eventually defied that order, engaging and killing the gunman. The Texas Department of Public Safety says Arredondo is refusing to cooperate with its investigation; Arredondo told CNN he’ll talk about the massacre when “families quit grieving.”
In Austin, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott is resisting demands by state Democrats that he convene a special legislative session to tackle gun violence. Abbott called Wednesday instead for the formation of a special legislative committee. The Texas State Teachers Association blasted the move, writing in a statement, “Committees and other groups have studied school safety before … and schools obviously aren’t safe from mass shooters. This is because the governor and legislators refuse to address the real issue and enact reasonable gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
A bipartisan group of nine U.S. senators met Wednesday to discuss new legislation in the wake of the Uvalde massacre. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he hoped lawmakers would target what he called the source of U.S. mass shootings.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “It seems to me there are two broad categories that underscore the problem: mental illness and school safety.”
Senator McConnell did not mention guns as a source of mass shootings.
Ukraine says Russian forces have taken over most of Severodonetsk, the last major city under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region. The city’s fall to Russia comes as the United Nations warns the invasion of Ukraine has caused the deaths of at least two children every day, with many more injured. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted Wednesday Russia is killing up to 100 Ukrainian soldiers a day, with another 500 wounded daily. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports hundreds of Russian soldiers have escaped the fighting in Ukraine or refused to take part during the early stages of the war.
On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced another $700 million worth of military aid to Ukraine, including the delivery of advanced rocket launchers and more Javelin anti-tank missiles. Meanwhile, Reuters reports the administration is considering a plan to sell armed attack drones to Ukraine. This comes as about 1,000 Russian troops held nuclear weapons drills northeast of Moscow on Wednesday. We’ll have the latest on Ukraine after headlines.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 31-year-old Palestinian journalist Ghufran Harun Warasneh Wednesday as she commuted to her new job at a radio station in the city of Hebron. The Israeli army claims that Warasneh was holding a knife, but eyewitnesses disputed the army’s description of what happened. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry accused Israel of carrying out an execution. This comes just three weeks after the Israeli military shot and killed the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Elsewhere, Israeli forces killed two more Palestinians in the West Bank over the past 24 hours and demolished the home of a Palestinian man accused by Israel of terrorism.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a case of suspected monkeypox in Georgia — the 18th such case in the U.S. this year. It’s one of more than 550 cases seen across 30 countries detected around the globe this year. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said the virus has likely been spreading, undetected, for some time outside of West and Central Africa, where the disease has large animal reservoirs. This is WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan.
Dr. Michael Ryan: “There are thousands and thousands of cases of monkeypox every year in Africa, and there are deaths every year. And our concern now is real. We have a concern about this disease spreading in Europe. But I certainly didn’t hear that same level of concern over the last five or 10 years. So I think this is a lesson. These diseases will continue to emerge. They will continue to pressure. They will continue to cross the species barrier. The question is: Are we in a position to collectively respond? Are we in a position to share resources in order to stop onward transmission of these diseases within human communities?”
President Biden admitted Wednesday he was not aware of how great an impact the Abbott plant shutdown in February would have on infant formula supplies until April. In a White House meeting with the country’s largest infant formula manufacturers yesterday, spokespersons from two manufacturers explicitly said they had recognized from the start how huge a problem the formula shortage would eventually become when Abbott closed one of its plants in February. A whistleblower sent a 34-page report to the Food and Drug Administration in October 2021 alleging unsanitary conditions at the Abbott factory, but it took over four months for action to be taken. In this time, one infant had died from contaminated formula, and another two were hospitalized. A second infant died from tainted formula in late February.
The Justice Department has stepped up its criminal investigation into the creation of fake slates of pro-Trump electors looking to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory in 2020. That’s according to The New York Times, which reports the probe has a particular focus on the team of lawyers that worked on behalf of Trump, including John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani.
A newly surfaced recording of Republican Party operatives meeting with grassroots activists last October reveals a multipronged GOP strategy to target and potentially overturn votes in Democratic precincts. In the recording obtained by Politico, a Republican National Committee staffer outlines a plan to train and install volunteers to challenge voters at Democratic-majority polling places. Matthew Seifried, the RNC’s election integrity director for Michigan, also said Republicans are setting up a network of party-friendly district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts at certain precincts.
Matthew Seifried: “Truly, it’s going to be an army, right? We are going to try to recruit lawyers. We’re going to have more lawyers than have ever been recruited, because, let’s be honest, that’s where it’s going to be fought, right?”
The Department of Education said Wednesday it will cancel $5.8 billion in student loan debt for borrowers who attended the now-defunct network of for-profit schools known as Corinthian Colleges. It’s the largest one-time discharge of debt ever made by the Department of Education. A report by the legal organization the Project on Predatory Student Lending found that the for-profit school industry “systematically targets prospective Black and Latinx students, encourages them to take out federal student loans, and leaves students with a worthless degree and debt that they are unable to repay.”
In Florida, abortion providers have filed suit to block a new law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement, “The Florida Supreme Court has long held that their state constitution protects the right to end a pregnancy. That means even if Roe falls, abortion should remain protected in Florida, and this ban should be blocked.” Barring a court injunction, Florida’s 15-week abortion ban is set to take effect on July 1.
A jury has decided in favor of actor Johnny Depp in a defamation suit against his ex-spouse, actor Amber Heard, awarding him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Depp will receive $10.35 million since Virginia caps punitive damages at $350,000. The jury also found in favor of Heard in a countersuit she had filed against Depp saying that his legal team falsely accused her of fabricating claims, awarding her $2 million. A major component of the case was an op-ed that Heard wrote about her experience with intimate partner violence, published in The Washington Post in 2018 at the height of the #MeToo movement. Activist Tarana Burke’s “MeToo” Movement organization has issued a statement acknowledging the “mockery of assault, shame and blame” over the weeks of the trial, calling it a “toxic catastrophe and one of the biggest defamations of the movement.”
In Brazil, protesters are demanding justice for Genivaldo de Jesus Santos, a Black man diagnosed with schizophrenia who was killed by federal police in the city of Umbaúba on May 25. Video of the incident shows a pair of officers trapping Santos inside a vehicle after releasing a tear gas canister inside. A medical examiner later determined Santos died of asphyxia. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters marched through São Paulo demanding justice.
Protester: “Genivaldo was tortured for a crime he did not commit, a Black man with mental health issues. The family begged for his life, but they were not heard.”
Many Brazilians are comparing the death of Genivaldo de Jesus Santos to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which took place exactly two years prior. Santos’s killing came just days after police killed at least 25 people during a raid on a favela in Rio de Janeiro.