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KARE 11 Investigates – The Gap: Failure to treat, failure to protect

Mass shooting in Buffalo reveals deadly gaps in Minnesota’s criminal and mental healthcare systems – as suspects declared incompetent in court fail to get treatment.

Brandon Stahl (KARE11), A.J. Lagoe, Steve Eckert

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Gregory Ulrich walked through the doors at the Crossroads Clinic on a frigid February morning and first pointed his gun at a receptionist who asked if she could help him.

He set a briefcase carrying bombs on the ground, then according to court records and people there that day, he shot her in the stomach. He fired another shot at a nurse in the reception area, hitting her in the back.

He continued through a clinic hallway, unloading his 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun along the way. Two bullets hit the upper leg of a nursing assistant as she ran away.

Another six bullets went through a nurse’s chest, stomach, back, and left arm, leaving her in critical condition.

Of the 11 rounds he fired, only one hit 37-year-old nursing assistant Lindsay Overbay as she frantically ran for an exit. The bullet struck her stomach, passing through her liver and spine, before leaving through her back. Lindsay would die later that day.

She was a wife and mother of two young children.

As more became known about one of the worst mass shootings in Minnesota history, the more it became clear that it might have been prevented.

Ulrich is a “gap” case – where someone charged with a crime is found mentally incompetent to stand trial but fails to receive mental health treatment.

A KARE 11 investigation finds Ulrich is just one example of how gaps in the state’s criminal justice and mental health systems have failed to protect the victims in Buffalo – and in other communities statewide.

Credit: KARE 11