Photo: Wright County Jail.
Photo: Wright County Jail.
Updated: February 09, 2021 10:38 PM
Created: February 09, 2021 11:37 AM
One person is in custody in connection to a shooting that killed one person and injured four others at a Buffalo, Minnesota clinic.
Sixty-seven-year-old Gregory P. Ulrich, from Buffalo, is currently being held in the Wright County Jail. Law enforcement says Ulrich is no stranger to them, as they have handled "several calls" involving Ulrich since 2003.
Hennepin County Medical Center confirmed Tuesday evening that one of the victims that was transported to the hospital has died.
"Our heart breaks as a community," Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke said. "This is a day no community would want to go through."
Budke told KSTP the shooting happened inside the Allina Clinic Crossroads campus. He said the situation was contained as of 11:42 a.m. and there is no continuing threat to public safety.
He said the Minneapolis bomb squad went to the scene to check and clear the site where the incident occurred. During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said "improvised explosive devices" were used during the incident.
While Walz said explosive devices were used, Budke said it was unclear if an incendiary device was detonated. He said there is damage to the building, however, he said it is unclear if it is from gunfire or an explosive.
ABC News spoke to Ulrich's brother, Richard, who hadn't heard the news at the time and said he hadn't talked to his brother in a few months. Richard Ulrich added that his brother had back surgery a couple years ago and was put on opioids, which he believes led his brother to do what he did at the clinic.
According to a conditional release order connected to a 2018 restraining order violation, Gregory P. Ulrich was banned from entering Allina Clinic and Buffalo Hospital. He was also not allowed to have contact with a doctor at the clinic.
The reasoning for the restraining order is not known at this time.
"Shocked of course, who thinks their neighbor is going to do that..it's shocking," said Amber Joy Kessler, former neighbor of the suspect.
A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said the agency had a crew headed to the scene. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also tweeted that it has special agents and crime scene personnel en route to the scene.
North Memorial Health spokeswoman Abigail Greenheck said multiple victims were brought to its hospital in Robbinsdale. On Tuesday night North Memorial Health announced that three victims were in critical but stable condition and one had been discharged.
Allina Health issued the following statement:
"Today our hearts are broken. We are a family at Allina Health and this has been an incredibly traumatic day for our entire organization, the patients we serve and the community of Buffalo. Our thoughts are first and foremost with those tragically injured and their loved ones. The Wright County Sheriff's office is leading this ongoing investigation, and we are assisting in any way we can. Right now, our focus is on supporting our staff, their families and our patients. We wish to express our thanks and gratitude to law enforcement, first responders and all those who are sending their thoughts and prayers."
"As we pulled up, there were a couple of nurses running out of the building," said Tiffany Politte. "They said people were hiding and they heard shots in the back of the building and they ran out the front of the building but minutes later the front windows were shot right next to the front doors they came out of."
Politte was about to drop off her mother for an appointment at the clinic.
"It was very scary," she said. "That could easily have been us (...) If we would've been there five minutes earlier, we would've been in the front entrance where we drop her off as he was shooting at the front windows in the parking lot. It was a very close call."
She said the two nurses ran out so fast they left their phones behind. They borrowed Politte's phone to call their families.
"To go in and have a shooting of people who are healthcare, taking care of people it just doesn't make sense," said Politte. "Pray for them and their families."
Shock and pain rippled through the community.
"I grew up here and it's just a small town and I never really thought it would happen here," said Grace Klatt, who lives in Buffalo.
Her grandfather lives right behind the clinic. We spoke to Klatt from a parking lot nearby with Cody Bickery.
"It feels like it can't happen to you until it's in your home (town)," said Bickery. "Especially in a place where people are helped at and you know they're taking care of, especially during these struggling times. It's hard to think of someone being able to and willing to do that."
"It's just terrible. I feel bad, my hearts out with the families right now."
Walz later tweeted a statement saying he and his family are praying for the victims, and thanking the first responders.
State law enforcement is assisting local law enforcement in the investigation and first response, including flying boxes of blood from the Red Cross to Buffalo so it is ready for victims of the incident.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) February 9, 2021
I want to thank our front line workers for their swift and heroic action today. This is a sad day for us all.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) February 9, 2021
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also issued a statement on Twitter.
There is an unspeakable depravity in doing harm to those who work to heal us. Those who have stepped up and risked their own health for ours.— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) February 9, 2021
Our first responders are on their way to the scene to help. Today Minneapolis stands with our neighbors in Buffalo.
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