Buffalo, MN – The Allina Health Clinic had a restraining order against the 67-year-old man who killed one person, wounded four more, and allegedly planted bombs inside the facility on Tuesday because the gunman had warned he would seek revenge against doctors there whom he believed had mistreated him.
Gregory Ulrich was arrested on Feb. 9 after he opened fire inside the Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo.
Court records showed that he had a history of threatening the staff at the clinic and once said he wanted to do something “big and sensational so that it makes an impact” for revenge, the New York Daily News reported.
Ulrich was angry with Allina Health after a series of back surgeries he had there.
Court records showed that he was furious about the medication he was prescribed after surgery, the New York Daily News reported.
“He had issues with the hospital and the doctors there,” Ulrich’s former roommate, Raymond Zanstra, told KARE. “There was a particular doctor that he did not like.”
Zanstra said Ulrich frequently binged on painkillers and became irate when his doctor refused to give him another prescription for the medication, the New York Daily News reported.
“He had all kinds of mental health issues,” he said.
A Buffalo Police Department police report showed that in October of 2018, Ulrich called his former doctor three times a day and threatened a mass shooting, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Ulrich also threatened to blow things up and had other revenge scenarios in mind, according to the police report.
“I believe Mr. Ulrich is a high threat to society and himself,” his doctor told Buffalo police at the time.
He threatened four different Allina facilities but the one in Buffalo was at the top of his list, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Ulrich was taken to an emergency room for a mental health evaluation after he made the threats, according to the police report.
Allina Health Clinic filed and was granted a restraining order that barred Ulrich from the property, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
But Ulrich violated the restraining order at the Buffalo location and was arrested in November of 2018.
Court records showed that case was dismissed in 2020 after a judge found that Ulrich wasn’t mentally competent to stand trial, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Court officers warned in 2019 that Ulrich had previously applied for and been and been denied a gun permit.
One court official said it was “highly recommended that [Ulrich] not be allowed to have use or possession of any dangerous weapons or firearms as a condition of his probation,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Despite that, his former roommate said Ulrich applied for a gun permit in 2019 and was able to purchase a new gun, KARE reported.
“He bought a Smith and Wesson. It was brand new in a box,” Zanstra said.
He said he didn’t know where his roommate had bought the gun and KARE was not able to confirm whether Ulrich had been granted a gun permit.
Police records also showed Ulrich also had some kind of altercation with the Zion Lutheran Church in 2019, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The church obtained a no trespassing order against Ulrich at the recommendation of the Buffalo Police Department and distributed Ulrich’s picture to parishioners who were warned to call 911 if he showed up.
Walter Rohde told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he was shocked when Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer announced the Ulrich was the gunman at the Allina Health Clinic.
“I just knew him as a kindly old man,” Rohde, who was Ulrich’s neighbor, said. “He liked to drink, I can tell you that much.”
But neighbor Bob Taylor said that Ulrich “didn’t fit in” at the Pulaski Mobile Home Park where he has lived for more than eight years, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
He said Ulrich was a heavy drinker, a marijuana smoker, and a prolific fisherman who upset his neighbors by throwing fish guts back in the lake after cleaning his catch.
Law enforcement officials did not release many details about the incident during their press conference on Feb. 9 and refused to confirm reports that bombs had been set off inside the health clinic after five people were shot.
Both Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke and Sheriff Deringer indicated it was too early to comment on reports that one or more bombs had detonated inside the clinic because the bomb squad was still working to clear the building so that the entire scene could be investigated.
“Once all the victims were removed, the sheriff’s department did a search and found a suspicious package in the corner of the lobby,” Sheriff Deringer told reporters, but he wouldn’t confirm whether anything had actually exploded.
Chief Budke said investigators first needed to confirm what the devices were, and what the intention was behind them, before he commented on them.
But he said the bomb squad had to finish clearing the building before investigators could figure out what had happened.
“The Minneapolis bomb squad is still on the scene working to clear the medical clinic,” Sheriff Deringer explained.