April 15, 2021

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Buffalo, Minnesota shooting: The suspect told a motel owner ‘tomorrow my work will definitely be done’

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The owner, Mona Patel, did not pry into what work her guest Gregory Ulrich had planned. But he now is the main suspect in the bloody attack on a local health care clinic in which one person died and four others were wounded.

“He was telling me he didn’t have much money because he was over 65,” Patel told CNN. “He said ‘Mona, I don’t have a car and I don’t have much money.'”

“I said if you take a whole week, I will give you a cheaper rate because you have a shortage of money,” Patel said, recalling conversations with Ulrich.

“And he says ‘No, by tomorrow my work will be definitely done. So just give me one (more) night and if it is not done then I can buy more nights,’ Patel said.

Ulrich will make his first appearance in court Thursday on charges of second-degree intentional murder, four counts of attempted first-degree premeditated murder and possession of explosive or incendiary devices, Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes said Wednesday. It is not clear whether Ulrich has an attorney.

Lutes vowed to “aggressively prosecute Ulrich for this horrible crime and the pain he caused.”

In the meantime, police were at Patel’s Super 8 motel on Wednesday to collect her recording equipment that likely contains surveillance of the suspect.

Suspect had issues with the clinic

Those who knew Ulrich said the suspect was upset that doctors at the Allina Health Care Clinic wouldn’t prescribe him pain medication.

There was a large sign on his shed saying “the doctor was a no-good piece of crap” for everyone driving by to see, according to Raymond Zandstra, 65, who said he rented a room from Ulrich.

And his brother told CNN that the suspect frequently referred to his medication.

“He just kept bringing up the pain medication he needed and how they wouldn’t give it to him,” Richard Ulrich said. “He just seemed obsessed with that. It did concern me, but you know, I didn’t think he’d do something like this, especially after all this time.”

Richard Ulrich lives in Florida and said he hadn’t spoken to his brother in a few months.

The suspect’s anger at the health care center was apparent in 2018 when he called to threaten “shooting, blowing things up, and practicing different scenarios of how to get revenge” because he was “angry with the medical community,” said a doctor who reported the incident, according to a Buffalo police report obtained by CNN.

He said he “wanted it big and sensational so that it makes an impact,” the police report says.

Here's what we know about the Buffalo, Minnesota, shooting suspect

Ulrich has lived in the community “for quite a long time and has had contact with health care within the community during that time,” Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke said.

Though Ulrich had been unhappy with his health care, “there’s also, within that history, nothing to indicate that we would’ve been in the situation that we are at today,” Budke said.

Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer said Ulrich’s history with law enforcement dates to 2003.

The pain he caused

As investigators looked into what happened, the city — a community of about 16,000 people roughly a 40-mile drive northwest of Minneapolis — was left to process the bloody incident at a place of care.

Officials for the clinic said the shooting was traumatic.

“Our hearts were broken,” Allina Health said in a statement. “The Wright County Sheriff’s Office is leading the 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.”

“As caretakers of victims of gunshots and other violent injuries, nurses and healthcare workers are acutely aware that violence could easily come to the doors of their workplace too,” the Minnesota Nurses Association said. “Seeing other workers become victims shakes any hospital worker to their core.”

Mayor Teri Lachermeier said that officials would be making phone calls to ensure that the mental health of everyone involved is being cared for and that “we’re taking care of those people who are in need of our help.”

Medical assistant killed in the attack

All five victims of the shooting were Allina Health employees, the company said.

One dead and four wounded in shooting at Minnesota health care clinic

One died at Hennepin County Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Christine Hill said. She was identified by Allina Health as Lindsay Overbay.

Overbay was a medical assistant at the facility and had worked for the company since 2018, Allina said. “The loss of Lindsay is traumatic for all who knew and loved her. Our entire Allina Health family extends our deepest sympathies to her family, friends and co-workers,” Allina said in a statement.

One person remained in critical condition Wednesday at North Memorial Health Hospital, two are in fair condition and the fourth person was released on Tuesday.

CNN’s Adrienne Broaddus and Bill Kirkos reported from Buffalo. CNN’s Madeline Holcombe reported and wrote in Atlanta. CNN’s Steve Almasy, Jason Hanna, Amir Vera, Eric Levenson, Keith Allen and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

2021-02-11 03:26:13

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