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Suspected Buffalo shooter had made previous threat of 'mass violence' towards Allina clinics

The 67-year-old is facing charges for Tuesday's mass shooting, which left one dead and four injured.
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Gregory Ulrich

More details are emerging about the man suspected of the mass shooting at a clinic in Buffalo on Tuesday, including documents showing that he had made previous threats towards Allina Health facilities.

One person has been confirmed dead and four people injured – three critically – in the shooting at the Buffalo Crossroads Clinic on Tuesday morning, with Gregory Ulrich, 67, taken into custody and now awaiting charges.

Wright County court records show that in November 2018, a harassment restraining order (HRO) was filed against Ulrich that prevented him from being within a block of Buffalo Crossroads Clinic as well as Buffalo Hospital, after he made threats towards his former doctor, including calling him three times a day.

The HRO reveals that Ulrich "stated that killing one individual wouldn't be enough," threatened "mass violence at clinics and hospitals," and said "that his intent was to create enough of a sensation to get public recognition that would warrant a strait jacket."

"He further stated he had practiced different scenarios and he was testing how to get through security with a length of steel since he knew he only had seconds after getting past security to achieve his goal,"  a court document says.

He also made threats to detonate bombs and plotted other "revenge" towards the facilities, which he had become increasing angry with over treatment for back issues and subsequent medication he required.

The doctor he was threatening told police he considered Ulrich to be a "high threat to society and himself," per the Star Tribune.

Ulrich was later charged with violating the restraining order at the Buffalo Crossroads Clinic. The case against him was dismissed as he was ruled mentally incompetent to take part in proceedings, though he was ordered to stay away from the facility and turn in any weapons or permits to carry,

At this stage, it's not known what gun Ulrich used in Tuesday's shooting nor how he obtained it. 

FOX 9 spoke with Ulrich's former roommate, Raymond Zandstra, who said Ulrich had shown him a new handgun he'd got.

"I said, ‘What?’ You shouldn’t have a gun," Zandstra told the TV station, noting that Ulrich was "unstable" and had a grudge against doctors in Buffalo.

An affidavit from a registered nurse at Buffalo Hospital reveals Ulrich had also caused a scene there in October 2018, showing up and requesting his medical record as he recounted his prior back surgery and use of pain medication in what the RN described as an "unfocused and disoriented" manner.

"[Ulrich] expressed that Buffalo Hospital had previously sent him to Abbott Northwestern Hospital because he had overdosed on narcotic pain medication," the affidavit says. "He wanted me to agree with him that Buffalo Hospital should not have transferred him to Abbott Northwestern Hospital."

As she tried to "redirect" Ulrich, he "became upset, his behavior escalated, and he began yelling," with the RN saying she was fearful for her safety. He was escorted out by security.

Police investigating the scene Tuesday also found a suspicious device in the lobby of the Crossroads Clinic that necessitated a call to the Minneapolis Police Bomb Squad, with other suspicious devices found in the Super 8 Motel room where Ulrich was reportedly staying.

In a press conference Tuesday, Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke and Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer said that Ulrich was "no stranger to law enforcement," with Budke noting: "Because of the contact we have had with him and his familiarity and history of conflict ... we place the belief this was an isolated and only directed at those within the facility."

Ulrich's only criminal convictions were for DWIs in 2004, 2006, and 2007 and an open bottle offense. He was sentenced to a year in jail for each of the latter two convictions.

He has also received citations for drug possession, and was the subject of a call to police from Zion Lutheran Church in 2019, which the Star Tribune said received a "disturbing letter" from Ulrich.

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