At a press conference following the first pre-trial hearing for Allina gunman Gregory Ulrich on February 11, County Attorney Brian Lutes made it clear that his office was committed to a thorough prosecution and that blame for Tuesday’s violence lay squarely with the defendant.
Some have been critical of the response of the local justice system after reports emerged outlining that Ulrich had made several threats to cause harm at the clinic in the past and had previously been issued a restraining order, barring him from visiting the clinic. However, Lutes and Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer urged the public to resist the urge to blame anyone but Ulrich for the shootings at the clinic on Tuesday.
“Gregory Ulrich went to Allina clinic, knowing that he was going to shoot up that clinic,” Lutes said. “Gregory Ulrich went to that clinic, knowing that he was going to explode bombs at the clinic. He did just that, cowardly injuring innocent people.”
Lutes also praised the valiant efforts of first responders at the scene.
“I’m proud of how law enforcement swiftly and courageously responded,” Lutes said. “They entered the medical clinic not knowing if their lives were in jeopardy from this active shooter.”
Deringer told the press that the community is mourning the loss of life and that now isn’t the time to criticize previous police encounters with the suspect.
“I think that it’s human nature for us, we want to push blame,” Deringer said, “but now is not the time to push blame. We are all working very hard to bring this to a conclusion, give closure and justice to those who have been victimized in our community. While I know we have had previous threats made by Mr. Ulrich, I want you to know, there has been nothing recent, in the past several months or even year, that we would’ve been aware of or taken immediate action based on to try to prevent or circumvent what happened on Tuesday morning.”
He continued, “If we’re going to push blame, I would like to push blame on Mr. Ulrich, who was responsible for the devastation that happened in our Buffalo community.”
Photo by Matthew Scherber