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Man Who Admitted to Jurors That He Shot Up a Clinic and Set Off Pipe Bombs Has Been Convicted of Murder

Booking photo of Gregory Paul Ulrich

Gregory Paul Ulrich

Jurors convicted a man of murder and other charges after hearing him testify that he shot up a Minnesota health clinic. Gregory Paul Ulrich, 69, will get a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the homicide in a hearing scheduled for June 17.

For both sides of the case, this wasn’t a question as to whether he opened fire and set off pipe bombs at the Allina Health Clinic in the city of Buffalo, Minnesota on Feb. 9, 2021. This was a question as to whether he truly planned on killing anyone under the definition first-degree premeditated murder. Medical assistant Lindsay Overbay, 37, died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen, with the round passing through her liver and spine before exiting out her back. Four other clinic staffers survived getting shot.

Authorities said there were years of build up, as Ulrich engaged in threats and homicidal ideation against local healthcare providers. He reportedly had terrible pain after a 2016 surgery on his spine and tailbone, but he could not get medication to relieve that pain, he said. Doctors reportedly cut him off when they believed he was abusing the medication.

Ulrich was previously charged with threatening a mass shooting at a local clinic on Oct. 13, 2018. A judge rejected his attempt to plead guilty in 2019 to violating a restraining order, and a prosecutor dismissed the case because Ulrich was considered mentally incompetent.

“He didn’t like the doctor. He didn’t like the hospital. He didn’t like the clinic because nobody would bend over to give him his painkillers anymore,” former neighbor Raymond Zandstra said.

Ulrich made a video about six weeks before the Allina shooting, discussing wanting to get a gun, “and go down there and kill as many nurses as you can,” prosecutors said, according to The Star-Tribune.

Ulrich planned this attack for months, buying a gun and ammunition, buying the materials for the pipe bombs, and making those explosives, Assistant County Attorney Shane Simonds told jurors.

“You are what you do, not what you say,” he said. “This is as premeditated as it gets.”

Ulrich asserted he only went to the clinic that day to draw public attention to the pain he was suffering. He planned on only committing property damage at first, but on entering the clinic, he realized insurance would cover that, he said.

“I wanted to sensationalize more, a louder message to get people’s attention,” he said.

Ulrich insisted he only planned on shooting the victims in the buttocks.

“I would like people to understand what pain is like down there,” he said. “After the first person, I lost control.”

Virginia Murphrey, chief public defender for the 10th Judicial District, tried to convince jurors Ulrich’s actions did not rise to the level of premeditated murder.

“After hearing all this, I don’t know how to talk to you about the law and not seem unfeeling and unconcerned and uncaring about this,” she said. “This was creating mayhem. This was not about killing people. I know what this sounds like. But it’s the law, and I’m asking you to follow the law.”

Jurors did not see it that way.

“I asked the people who were at the Allina clinic to come stand behind me, because this case is about them, not me,” Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes said after the verdict. “Innocent, helpless workers who went to work that day to help people. Gregory Ulrich brought an unthinkable level of terror. My job is easy compared to what these people went through on Feb. 9.”

Allina Health welcomed news of Ulrich getting convicted of all charges.

“Our resilient team members have shown bravery and courage, while experiencing deep grief and trauma as they navigated Gregory Ulrich’s criminal trial over the last few weeks,” they said in a statement. “We are grateful for the steadfast commitment shown by the Wright County Prosecutors and our law enforcement partners. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support felt from our Buffalo community, our health care colleagues and communities throughout the state. Each heartfelt social media post, prayer and gesture of support has been deeply appreciated by our team.”

[Booking photo via Wright County Jail]

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