By Amy Forliti
MINNEAPOLIS — A man who shot five staff members at a Minnesota health clinic this week shot two of them in the reception area before heading back to where patients are treated and shooting three others, including a medical assistant and mother of two who died of her wounds, authorities say in criminal charges filed Thursday.
Gregory Paul Ulrich, 67, also allegedly set off two explosive devices during Tuesday’s attack at an Allina clinic in Buffalo, a city of about 15,000 people roughly 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis. He is charged with one count of second-degree murder, four counts of attempted first-degree premeditated murder, one count of possessing an explosive device and one count of carrying a pistol without a permit.
During a brief court hearing Thursday that was held via video, the judge ordered Ulrich to be held on $10 million bail, or $5 million if he agreed to certain conditions. Ulrich, who attended from jail, didn’t speak except to tell the judge how to pronounce his name.
According to the charges, when Ulrich entered the clinic, staff asked if they could help him. In response, he pulled out a 9 mm handgun and threatened them before he opened fire, shooting one staff member in the back and another in the abdomen. He then went into the clinic’s interior and continued firing on victims, shooting a third person twice in the upper leg as that person was trying to flee and a fourth person six times, including in the chest, abdomen and back.
His fifth victim, who died from her wounds, was shot once in the abdomen and the bullet passed through her liver and spine before exiting through her back, according to the charges. Allina identified her as Lindsay Overbay, a 37-year-old medical assistant who had two young children, according to family and friends.
Three of the victims remained hospitalized Wednesday, with one in critical condition, one in fair condition and the other in good condition. The fourth surviving victim was discharged hours after the attack.
During the attack, Ulrich detonated two improvised explosive devices — one at the clinic’s entrance and the other near a desk in the clinic’s interior. When it the attack was over, Ulrich called 911 and said he would surrender if officers backed away, according to the charges. Officers entered the clinic using a squad car as a shield and found Ulrich lying in the entryway with his arms outstretched.
He had several rounds of ammunition on him when he was arrested, including two loaded 9 mm magazines, one with 13 rounds of ammunition and the other with seven, the charges state. He also had 29 additional rounds of ammunition in a plastic bag. Authorities also searched a mobile home where Ulrich lived and found gunpowder similar to the material used in the improvised explosive devices that detonated at the clinic. They found an empty box of 9 mm ammunition in a nearby motel where he had been staying.
A preliminary examination of Ulrich’s cellphone revealed a rambling video he made that alluded to an incident at the clinic, the charges state. Buffalo’s police chief, Pat Budke, said Tuesday that Ulrich had a long history of conflict with medical clinics in the area and was unhappy with the care he’d received.
According to a prior police report, Ulrich threatened to carry out a mass shooting at the clinic on Oct. 13, 2018, with a doctor telling investigators that Ulrich had talked about “shooting, blowing things up, and practicing different scenarios of how to get revenge.” The doctor said Ulrich told him he dreamed about exacting revenge on the people who “tortured” him, referring to issues he had with back surgeries and the medication he was prescribed.