1 dead, 4 wounded in Buffalo, Minn., clinic shooting; suspect is ex-patient

A view of damage at the clinic.
Multiple people were shot at an Allina Clinic in Buffalo, Minn., on Tuesday and a man was taken into custody afterward, police said.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Updated Feb. 10, 12:20 p.m.

Multiple people were shot Tuesday morning at an Allina Health clinic in Buffalo, northwest of the Twin Cities. One person was killed and four others wounded. Police arrested a local man they said was well known to them and has a history of conflict.

Gregory Paul Ulrich
Gregory Paul Ulrich.
Wright County Sheriff's Office via AP

Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer identified the man taken into custody as Gregory Paul Ulrich, 67, of Buffalo.

On Wednesday, Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes said he intends to charge Ulrich with second-degree murder, four counts of attempted first-degree premeditated murder and possession of explosive or incendiary devices.

Ulrich is expected face a judge Thursday morning.

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No motive was given for the shootings. Court documents, though, show that in 2018 Ulrich was ordered to stay away from the clinic and one of the physicians who practices there. The case was dismissed in 2020 because Ulrich was found to be mentally incompetent.

A pre-sentencing document recommended against allowing him to use or possess firearms.

Given law enforcement’s past knowledge of Ulrich — officials said encounters go back more than 15 years — it’s “most likely that this incident was targeted at that [Allina] facility, or at someone within that facility,” said Buffalo police Chief Pat Budke.

There was nothing from law enforcement’s past contact with him to indicate “that he was unhappy with or would direct his anger at anyone other than people at the facilities where he had been treated or where they had attempted to give treatment,” Budke said.

A man speaking into microphones looks down.
Buffalo police Chief Pat Budke pauses as he addresses the media about a shooting at an Allina Health clinic in the city at the Wright County Government Center.
Evan Frost | MPR News

There’s no evidence this was an incident of domestic terrorism, he said, adding that officials believe Ulrich acted alone.

Ulrich also had raised concerns for a local church. According to an August 2019 update on the website of Zion Lutheran Church, the church obtained a no trespassing order for Ulrich after the pastor received a disturbing letter. Church staff were given a picture of Ulrich and told to call 911 if he appeared on any of Zion’s properties.

Deringer said “suspicious devices” were found in the clinic and at a nearby motel where Ulrich was allegedly staying. Neither he nor Budke would say more. Earlier in the day, though, Gov. Tim Walz described them as improvised explosive devices.

County sheriff vehicles surround the Super 8 Motel.
Wright County Sheriff's Department vehicles surround the Super 8 Motel connected with the scene of a shooting at an Allina Medical clinic in Buffalo Tuesday.
Dave Schwarz | St. Cloud Times via AP

The Minneapolis bomb squad was on site at the clinic in the early afternoon. Budke said it was not clear whether anything exploded prior to law enforcement coming on the scene.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the St. Paul office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives both said they were part of the investigation.

Police descended on the clinic following a 911 call just before11 a.m. Deringer described the aftermath as a “a horrible looking scene.”

Nearby schools were locked down temporarily following the shooting.

Authorities have not released the name of the person killed. That victim had been hospitalized at HCMC in Minneapolis. Three of the four who were taken to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale remained in stable but critical condition on Tuesday evening. The fifth victim had been discharged.

Police officers at a crime scene.
Law enforcement personnel and first responders gather outside of the Allina Health clinic.
David Joles | Star Tribune via AP

Law enforcement authorities briefed reporters at 3 p.m.:

The Associated Press contributed to this story.