BUFFALO, Minn. — Jury selection in the trial for Gregory Ulrich, the man charged with walking into an Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo and opening fire on Feb. 9, 2021, is now underway.
Ulrich is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, four counts of first-degree premeditated attempted murder, and 13 other criminal counts ranging from detonating homemade explosive devices to possessing a gun without a permit.
KARE 11's Lou Raguse is covering the jury selection and trial. He reports that as of noon Monday two jurors have been selected to hear the case: One is a woman thought to be in her 40s who has children in sporting activities, and the second is a certified nursing assistant in her 20s. Ulrich's team struck a male candidate whose wife works in the healthcare field and is said to be very distressed by the case.
Raguse describes jury selection in Ulrich's case as a slow process, with each prospective panelist being questioned individually by prosecutors and the defense team.
In fact, Judge Catherin McPherson told the court she expects it will take at least one week, and perhaps two to seat a jury.
Raguse reports that Ulrich sat slumped in a wheelchair during the morning session, listening through headphones and taking notes. At times he appeared to dose off during the process. He says it is unclear what Ulrich's defense will be considering Ulrich called 911 on himself, but said that a number of questions the defense team posed to jurors involved opioid addiction.
A deadly day
Witnesses say when Ulrich walked into the reception area of the clinic that February morning, he shot one person the back, then another in the abdomen. Ulrich then entered the interior area of the clinic, where he shot a third victim in the leg twice as that person tried to flee, according to people who saw him there. Investigators say the defendant kept firing, shooting a fourth victim six times, in the chest, abdomen, back, arm and forearm.
Lindsay Overbay, a 37-year-old medical assistant, was Ulrich's final victim. She was shot in the abdomen, with the bullet passing through her liver and spine before exiting through their back. Overbay later died of those injuries.
KARE 11 Investigates has uncovered information about Ulrich's long history with the clinic, including threats of violence and revenge because he was angry about being denied opioids following a back surgery.
Ulrich previously threatened one of the clinic’s doctors in 2018 with “threats of mass shooting and/or other scenarios against the hospital,” according to a Buffalo Police report.
Because a judge never ruled that Ulrich was mentally incompetent, nothing on his record stopped him from legally buying a gun to take to the clinic that day in February.
Despite questions about his mental state and addiction to opiates, Ulrich was found competent to stand trial earlier this year.
Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes said four weeks have been set aside for the case because it’s anticipated that jury selection will take a considerable amount of time.
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