BUFFALO, Minn. — The man suspected of opening fire Tuesday at a Minnesota health clinic threatened more than two years ago to carry out a mass shooting at the facility, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press.
Update 1:38 p.m. ET Feb. 10: Gregory Paul Ulrich, 67, is expected to appear in court Thursday following the attack on Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo that killed one staff member and wounded four others, three of whom remain hospitalized.
Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke said that Ulrich has a lengthy history of conflict with multiple medical clinics in the area, about 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis, stemming from his dissatisfaction with the treatment he received.
According to the police report, a doctor at the clinic told investigators that Ulrich spoke in October 2018 of “shooting, blowing things up, and practicing different scenarios of how to get revenge” on the facility. The doctor said Ulrich’s issues centered upon back surgeries he underwent and the medications prescribed following those procedures, prompting him to fantasize about exacting revenge on the people who “tortured” him, the AP reported.
Police reportedly transported Ulrich to a Monticello facility for a mental health evaluation after he admitted to sharing his violent thoughts with the doctor. The clinic filed a harassment restraining order, fearing he may act upon his threats, according to the police report.
Later filings in 2018 and 2019 indicate Ulrich violated that order, and he was barred from having contact with a man whose name matches that of the doctor named in the police report, the AP reported.
It remained unknown Wednesday if the doctor was among the victims in the Tuesday shooting.
According to the AP, Ulrich was found “mentally incompetent to proceed” on charges for violating the restraining order in April 2020.
Of the three victims who remained hospitalized Wednesday, one remained in critical condition, and two were upgraded to fair condition, the outlet reported.
Update 8:08 p.m. ET Feb. 9: One of the five victims at Allina Health Clinic died at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, a hospital spokesperson said Tuesday evening. The others were taken to North Memorial Health Hospital, where three remained in critical but stable condition and a fourth was discharged.
Update 5:32 p.m. ET Feb. 9: Gregory Paul Ulrich, 67, is in custody at Wright County Jail, but no updates on the hospitalized victims have been provided, WCCO reported.
In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Buffalo police Chief Pat Budke said Ulrich has a long history of dissatisfaction with the health care he received, and investigators do not believe any other suspects were involved.
“The history that we have as a department with this individual makes it most likely that this incident was targeted at this facility or someone within that facility,” Budke said, noting Ulrich has “lived in this community for quite a long time.”
According to Wright County officials, four victims are being treated at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale and another victim is being treated at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis. Officials declined to confirm if the victims were patients at the clinic or health care employees, the TV station reported.
Despite early reports of explosive devices, John Holler with Wright County confirmed to WCCO Tuesday afternoon that no bombs or explosives detonated during the mass shooting.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz during Tuesday’s news conference called the shootings a “tragic situation” that appears to be the act of a single individual.
Original report: As many as five people are believed to be critically wounded following a Tuesday morning shooting at a Minnesota health clinic.
According to police, the chaotic scene unfolded just before 11 a.m. at Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo, and a male suspect has been detained, WCCO reported.
According to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, dispatch audio also revealed a bomb detonated in the family medicine and urgent care clinic about 30 minutes after the shooting, forcing medical personnel to leave the clinic parking lot and set up farther away.
Authorities have since imposed a flight ban over the area after “high suspicion” of a bomb threat related to a Super 8 hotel about a mile south of the clinic was recorded. It was not immediately clear if the hotel alert and clinic shooting are related, the newspaper reported.
Cox Media Group