Murder, explosives charges for Gregory Ulrich in Buffalo clinic mass shooting

He has also been charged with four counts of attempted murder.
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Gregory Ulrich

Gregory Ulrich has been charged with second-degree murder, four counts of first-degree premeditated attempted murder, and explosives and weapons offenses for the mass shooting at an Allina Health clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota, on Tuesday.

Ulrich, 67, of Buffalo, made his first appearance in court Thursday morning via Zoom from the Wright County jail, during which he wore a dark-colored jumpsuit and glasses. 

When the judge read the seven charges against him, including the murder of Lindsay Overbay and the attempted killing of four other Buffalo Crossroads Clinic employees, Ulrich shifted around in his wheelchair, glancing at the camera and back down several times.

"The behavior of Mr. Ulrich implicated the safety of public in the highest regard," Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes said during the hearing. "He went to the clinic knowing that he was going to shoot that clinic up. He went to the clinic knowing he was going to ignite those bombs." 

Ulrich, who only spoke a few times during the brief hearing including sharing how to pronounce his name, was appointed a public defender and his bail was set at $10 million without conditions ($5 million with conditions). 

His next court appearance is 10:30 a.m. on March 22. 

The charges

The criminal complaint reveals harrowing details of the active shooter situation at the clinic, as Ulrich proceeded through the building, opening fire on clinic staff and setting off two explosions.

It also reveals that as police responded to the scene, Ulrich himself called 911, telling 911 dispatch to tell officers to back away and he would surrender.

He was dropped off at the clinic at 10:52 a.m., with the first 911 call reporting the active shooter situation coming at 10:54 a.m. Ulrich then called 911 at 10:58 a.m.

A timeline of the incident said Ulrich was asked by a staff member if he needed help upon his arrival, at which point he pulled a handgun and "began threatening clinic staff," charges state.

He then entered the reception area and opened fire at the first two victims, with one struck in the back and the other in the abdomen, the complaint says. He also shot at the windows in the lobby, shattering them from the inside.

Proceeding into the interior of the clinic, he fired at a third victim, hitting them with two bullets in the back of the upper leg as the victim tried to run out of the clinic, charges say. He shot the fourth victim six times in the chest, abdomen, back, and three in the arms.

The fifth victim – identified as Overbay – was shot in the abdomen, with the bullet "passing through the liver and spine, before exiting the back." She subsequently died from her injuries.

Ulrich also allegedly detonated two improvised explosive devices at the clinic, one at the entrance to the clinic, which "tore a hole through the lower metal frame of the exterior sliding door" and shattered glass, with the second being detonated in the interior near a desk, causing "significant damage," the complaint says. A third, undetonated device was also found by a bomb squad in the building.

When he was arrested, he was found with two loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm magazines in his pocket with a combined 20 rounds of ammunition, while a Ziploc bag he had on him contained a further 29 rounds. A Smith and Wesson handgun was found at the scene, with the charging documents saying Ulrich didn't have a permit to carry the gun in public.

His cellphone was recovered, and revealed Ulrich had made a "rambling video message that alluded to an incident at the clinic," charges say. 

While the charging documents do not detail Ulrich's motivation or details from his police interview, it has emerged in recent days that Ulrich had long-standing recriminations against the Buffalo clinic and other health facilities due to issues with his health and his use of pain medication.

It does reveal that Ulrich has taken a Trailblazer public shuttle from the Super 8 Motel where he was staying to the clinic, with surveillance footage showing he was "wearing a heavy brown jacket and carrying a briefcase."

The criminal complaint says officers arrived to find the injured victims "screaming for help."

Three of the victims – the first, second, and fourth who were shot – remain in a critical condition in Twin Cities hospitals. The third victim, shot in the back of the leg, has been discharged but will require surgery to remove the bullets.

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