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Nurses union: 'Healthcare facilities should be safe places'

The Minnesota Nurses Association said it was "shocked and saddened" by the shooting that killed one, injured four on Tuesday in Buffalo.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Leaders with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) say they are "shocked and saddened" following Tuesday's shooting at an Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo.

"As caretakers of victims of gunshots and other violent injuries, nurses and healthcare workers are acutely aware that violence could easily come to the doors of their workplace too," the organization said in a statement. "Seeing other workers become victims shakes any hospital worker to their core."

The organization noted many nurses do not feel safe in the workplace, and urged policy makers to consider safety changes.

"Healthcare facilities should be safe places — for patients, health care workers, and visitors," the MNA statement said. "A 2019 survey of Minnesota Nurses Association membership showed that 95 percent of MNA nurses say they do not feel safe from violence at work. Nurses urge policy makers to determine the causes of this incident and all other reports of workplace violence and prioritize sweeping changes to ensure safety in these places. Workplace violence incidents in healthcare facilities should be flagged and reported in a central location and healthcare workers should have the ability to process and recover from these types of incidents without penalty."

The Minnesota Nurses Association represents more than 22,000 members in the Upper Midwest.

RELATED: Sources: One dead following Buffalo Allina Clinic shooting

Lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum also reacted online. Gov. Tim Walz called the Buffalo clinic shooting "heart-wrenching," while also thanking front line workers for their swift and heroic action today.

Republican State Rep. Marion O'Neill, who represents the Buffalo area in the Minnesota House, called the shooting an "unimaginable tragedy" and thanked first responders.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, who grew up in the area, offered prayers and a message to end gun violence in a tweet.

RELATED: Shooting at Buffalo Allina Clinic