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Eastern Carolina residents & hospital staff react to Tulsa mass shooting

No weapons or smoking inside hospital
No weapons or smoking inside hospital(WITN)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 9:09 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - After the mass shooting at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma that killed four people Wednesday, Eastern Carolina hospitals are taking a moment to point out safety measures they have in place.

Hospital safety officials say that shock was the first emotion they felt after hearing the news of the mass shooting in Tulsa, a place that at least one person in Jacksonville says was just a rock’s throw away from where they once called home.

“My three daughters... they were born there,” Jacksonville resident Mya Jim said. “And then I also have family that works there and then a few people that are from my hometown.”

Jim may live in Jacksonville, but is a native of Henryetta, Oklahoma, which she says is just 45 minutes away from the hospital.

“It’s very sad, scary, and... we shouldn’t be fearful of a hospital, especially in the United States of America,” Jim said.

The national Gun Violence Archive documents more than 230 mass shootings in 2022 alone.

After the Tulsa hospital shooting Wednesday, Onslow Memorial Hospital says it is prioritizing security for staff and for patients.

“We have a no-weapons policy. No weapons are allowed anywhere in the facility,” Michael Holdren, Onslow Memorial Hospital safety director said. “That includes firearms as well as knives. Our employees are trained in active shooter training every year. Our active shooter plan follows the Homeland Security policies and procedures.”

Even with preventative measures in place, Wednesday’s news still was jarring to hospital staff.

“Unfortunately, today’s date and time, you got to be alert all the time,” Holdren said.

“So that’s why hospitals have plans and procedures in place to help us be prepared the best we can in that type of situation. But our thoughts go out to all those people and their families that are suffering right now.”

Michael Holdren, Onslow Memorial Hospital safety director

The news leaves Jim feeling the need to see more gun regulations.

“Just think that it’s a cry out for help, you know... we should have our rights, but yes, I think there should be more... it should be harder to get them,” Jim said.

Jim added that she enjoyed the staff and treatment at Saint Francis Health System.

Holdren says OMH will assess the recent shootings across the country and then coordinate with security and Onslow County law enforcement to see if more safety measures need to be put in place.

OMH says they have a contracted third-party security group who are assisted by Jacksonville police and Onslow County deputies in the case of any emergency situations.

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