How did he get a gun?
We don’t know what set off Gregory Paul Ulrich, sending him on a rampage to shoot up the Allina Clinic in Buffalo on Tuesday. But the fact that something was bound to set him off sooner or later was pretty well known by the staff at the clinic and by law enforcement. The 67-year-old Ulrich has long history with Wright County law enforcement, dating back to 2003, and a history of complaints about the medical care he was receiving.
In 2018, Ulrich made frequent calls to a doctor at the clinic, in which he talked about shooting up the clinic, blowing it up or other revenge scenarios. When police were called, he claimed he was just describing dreams he was having to the doctor. He was taken for a mental health evaluation, the clinic got a restraining order to keep him away from the property, which he violated in short order.
When Ulrich applied for a permit to carry a gun, a court services agent who was investigating him for pre-sentencing on some DUI counts cautioned against letting him have a gun.
Yet, somehow he wound up with a gun, which he allegedly used to shoot five people at the clinic Tuesday, killing 37-year-old medical assistant Lindsay Overbay, a New Ulm native with a husband and two young children.
We need to find ways to keep guns out of the hands of people like Ulrich, people with drug and alcohol addictions and a history of making violent threats, people who obviously pose threats to others and to themselves. People control is what was needed in this case, and Ulrich was allowed to spin out of control.