OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A nurse was allegedly shot at for wearing her scrubs in public.
The story spread like wildfire on social media Wednesday night and left some Oklahoma health care workers terrified, but Thursday there are serious questions as to whether the story is even true.
“I think it’s terrible. It’s just crazy right now. People are frightened,” said Karla Bittings.
The OU Medical Edmond employee is reacting to a social media post in which a nurse for OU Medical claims she was shot at while pumping gas at a gas station just off the Kilpatrick Turnpike on Western. The nurse claims a person with a gun was angry with her because “she was infecting the public because she was wearing her scrubs.”
As the story was shared on social media, the version grew more dramatic, with one person even claiming the nurse herself was shot.
Oklahoma City Police tried to tamp down the panic with a tweet, saying in part, “At this time there is no indication that anyone is being targeted because of their profession relating to the COVID 19 virus.”
We checked with management at the OnCue where the alleged confrontation occurred. They said they talked to employees and even went back to the surveillance video, but saw nothing. OnCue says their employees “did not hear or see anything and no one reported anything to them.” They refer to the night in question as “business as usual.”
Oklahoma City police say 12 hours after the alleged incident, someone finally called them to file a report, but the investigation was turned over to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
We checked with OHP. They wouldn’t give out too many details, but did release the following statement:
“The Oklahoma Highway Patrol received a call around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon about a reported incident that occurred somewhere along the Kilpatrick Turnpike earlier in the day. We have assigned investigators to look into this further and cannot release any details because it is an ongoing investigation. However, we can tell the public that at this time, there is no direct evidence that anyone was targeted because of their profession relating to the COVID-19 virus.”
OU Medical released a statement last night summarizing the alleged attack and warning their employees of possible danger:
“Public health emergencies are stressful times for people and communities but unfortunately, today, one of our nurses was a victim of an act of violence in the community while on their way to work. The alleged perpetrator believed that due to the nurse’s role in healthcare, they were exposing the community to COVID-19. Healthcare workers receive comprehensive training on proper use of personal protective equipment, protocols and ways to protect themselves and others. OU Medicine stands in support of all healthcare workers, dedicating their lives to taking care of all of us. We are working with this employee and all of our employees to ensure their safety and appreciate the community’s ongoing support.”
Today, when we contacted them regarding inconsistencies in the nurse’s version of what happened, they would only say, “No matter what the investigation shows, our staff’s safety is very important to us.”
Staff and representatives confirmed with News 4 that now employees are asked to put on scrubs once they are in the building and remove them before leaving work.
“Its just hard on all of us. I would like people to keep that in mind, that we are all in this. I don’t think anyone is immune to what is happening,” Bittings said.
Exactly what happened in this case is still being investigated.