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Buffalo shooter Gregory Ulrich had 43 run-ins with Minnesota cops

Buffalo shooter Gregory Ulrich had 43 run-ins with Minnesota cops

The Minnesota gunman who shot up a health clinic had at least 43 interactions with cops over the years — but as his petty offenses morphed into deranged threats, not a single social safety net caught him, records obtained by The Post reveal. 

Gregory Ulrich, who killed a mother of two and injured four others at the Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo Tuesday morning, was little more than a town drunk when he was arrested by the local police department on Dec. 20, 2007. 

The then-54-year-old was stumbling through town, urinating in public and could hardly stand or speak when cops arrested him and threw him in the county jail for the third time that year, records show. He was released the next day. 

Between 2012 and 2015, cops from the Buffalo Police Department had four interactions with Ulrich when he was caught in a local park after hours, left a backpack with marijuana in it on a bus and was seen hanging out by a church, walking around and looking “lost,” the records show. He told police he was “awaiting the sunset” and the case was closed. 

In December 2016, Ulrich’s problems started in earnest when he underwent back surgery and called 911 to say he was having back pain and complications with his medicine. About a month later, he called the cops again to say his medication was stolen by his nurses and three days later, called cops to say he’d fallen down. 

Over the next year and a half, cops would have seven interactions with Ulrich. They repeatedly came to his home for various complaints and ailments and investigated petty thefts of his medications and valuables that never amounted to an arrest.

They drove him to the grocery store, shoveled his walk and let ambulances from Allina Health bring him to the local ER but even as he showed a dependency on his pain medications, saying more than once they were missing or he needed more, no referrals to outside help were made, the records show. 

On Oct. 13, 2018, Ulrich’s situation escalated into threats of harm due to his drug issues.

He repeatedly called a doctor who works at the clinic he’d later turn into a nightmarish, blood-splattered shooting range and made “threats of mass shooting or other means to harm the hospital,” a police record states. 

Gregory Paul Ulrich was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 following a shooting at a health clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota.
Gregory Paul Ulrich was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, following a shooting at a health clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota.
Wright County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Ulrich was “angry,” “upset,” and “talked about shooting, blowing things up and practicing different scenarios of how to get revenge,” the doctor told cops.

The doctor he was targeting, who later took out a restraining order against Ulrich, said he was “angry with the medical community” and the calls left him “worried for the safety of you and others.” 

“I believe Ulrich is a high threat to society and himself,” the doctor said, adding Ulrich wanted his actions to be “big and sensational so it makes an impact.”

The responding officer, who’d already had at least two other interactions with Ulrich in the past, wrote in a report that she got in touch with him after. 

“Ulrich stated that he was telling the doctor about his dreams and that he would not really do anything such as he had talked about,” the officer wrote in the report.

“Ulrich went on to say that he dreams about revenge to the people that ‘tortured’ him. Ulrich was referring to back surgeries and medication issues after the surgeries.” 

A trespassing order was put in place and Ulrich was transported to the ER for a psychiatric evaluation. Even though the incident came just eight months after 17 people were killed during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the case was closed — no court records explain its disposition. 

For the first time, following 15 previous interactions, BPD did refer Ulrich to the Wright County Health and Human Services office, the records show, but it’s not clear what, if any, services he received. Wright County did not immediately return a request for comment. 

A little over a month later, Ulrich traveled to Buffalo Hospital, one of the Allina-affiliated medical centers he made threats against, to “straighten things out because he was falsely accused” and was arrested for violating a trespass order.

A responding officer did later go through Ulrich’s criminal history to see if there were any criminal “enhancements” he could add to the charge to strengthen the case, and possibly keep him locked up for longer, but none were found.

The criminal history was “destroyed,” Ulrich was released from jail two days later and the case was dismissed, records show. 

Over the next year, Ulrich had four more interactions with police over the local medical centers as his anger and resentment towards them continued to brew.

He called once to ask how to sue a hospital that “unnecessarily performed a surgery on him, that crippled him,” trespassed at another clinic and then called them “demanding” “narcotics” a few months later, the records show.

He later sent “suspicious letters” to the clinic with “weird” content but cops determined “nothing criminal occurred.” They advised the workers to ask Ulrich to stop contacting them and the case was closed. 

Two days later, he sent “concerning mailings” to a local church and then showed up the next day, the records show. He was given a trespassing order and the case was, once again, closed. 

Throughout 2020, Ulrich had a number of domestic disputes involving his roommates, one who told cops she was “scared” of him, but also kept forgetting whether or not he was allowing someone to stay with him.

He was caught sniffing glue and smoking marijuana in a park and officers noted in a report “it is possible [Ulrich] is having issues with memory.”

“Ulrich seemed to have initially forgotten he had said the [roommate]could stay with him for a time,” the September 2020 report states.

“He stated that she was going through the proper channels and he seemed excited to have her. On 09/19/20 however he made a report to police that he did not know why she was at his home to move in.”

Following the 911 call, the second, and last, referral to WCHS was made and the case was closed. 

When BPD’s Chief of Police Pat Budke addressed reporters Tuesday afternoon about Ulrich’s shooting, he needed a moment to compose himself before he could speak. 

He, along with Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer, both said Ulrich was well known to both departments. Budke said he had a “history of conflict,” was known to be unhappy with medical treatment he received and seemed to have it out for the healthcare community at large. 

“The history we have with this individual makes it most likely that this incident was targeted at that facility or at someone within that facility,” Budke said during the briefing.

“There’s also, within that history, nothing to indicate that we would’ve been in the situation that we are at today.”

BPD did not return a request for comment.

About the author

James Thompson

James Thompson has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Report Door one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US and World sections.

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