A man who barged his way into a health care clinic in Buffalo, Minn., last February, setting off explosives and shooting five clinic workers, one fatally, made an appearance in Wright County Court on Monday where he was informed that a grand jury had indicted him on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder.
The indictment was an upgrade from the second-degree murder charge brought after he was arrested at the scene of the shooting. In addition, the grand jury indicted him on four counts of first-degree premeditated attempted murder, the same charges leveled in a complaint filed back in February.
Gregory Paul Ulrich was also indicted on a charge of discharging an explosive or incendiary device at the Allina Medical Clinic at 755 Crossroads Campus Drive in Buffalo.
Ulrich, 68, of Buffalo, who is being held in the Wright County jail, will make another court appearance next Monday when he will be arraigned. Bail remains at $5 million with restrictive conditions that would require GPS monitoring or $10 million without conditions.
The Wright County grand jury met for three days last week and handed down the indictment Friday, said Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes.
"I think he acted with premeditation and intent and he deserves life imprisonment without parole," Lutes said in an interview. Ulrich's public defender could not be reached for comment.
Ulrich had been charged in a complaint in February on seven counts, including one count of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree attempted murder.
The new indictment, which supersedes those charges, was slowed while prosecutors awaited a determination on whether Ulrich was mentally competent to stand trial.
Lutes said Ulrich had several psychiatric interviews and a lengthy written report was made.
He was deemed competent to stand trial, and in August, Ulrich withdrew his objection to the competency evaluation report.
"The four surviving victims were satisfied the case is moving forward," Lutes said. He said he did not know yet when a trial might be scheduled but he did not want to delay it.
According to the indictment, six members of the Wright County Sheriff's Office testified, along with a special agent with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a captain with the Buffalo Police Department and an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ulrich is accused of killing Lindsay Marie Overbay, 37, a medical assistant at the clinic, and wounding four other clinic workers, Sherry Kay Curtis, 59; Antonya Railee Fransen-Pruden, 32; Jennifer Rosa Gibson, 36; and Tamara Marie Schaufler, 59. All four were listed as witnesses in the grand jury indictment.
Also testifying was an assistant medical examiner with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, the clinic's manager and a doctor.
According to the original complaint, Ulrich entered the clinic midmorning on Feb. 9 and pulled out a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun and began threatening staff.
He entered the reception area, shooting two victims, then entered the interior of the clinic, continuing to fire his handgun, striking three other victims.
During the attack he detonated two pipebombs, one at the entrance to the clinic that tore a hole through the lower metal frame of the an exterior sliding door and shattering glass, and a second device that exploded inside the clinic near a desk, causing significant damage.
Ulrich then called 911 and told Wright County dispatch to have officers back away and he would surrender. He was arrested in the entryway.
An ex-roommate told the Star Tribune that Ulrich was addicted to drugs and angry because a doctor refused to give him enough painkillers.
Court records indicate that Ulrich was a scofflaw with mental health and substance-abuse problems who frequently called police to report unfounded thefts or minor quarrels with his neighbors, medical aides, tenants and others.
Randy Furst • 612-673-4224