BUFFALO, Minn. -- A jury found a man guilty of murder and other counts Thursday in a shooting at a Minnesota medical clinic last year that killed one staff member and wounded four others.
Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon, following testimony by the defendant, Gregory Ulrich, and short closing arguments by each side, KARE-TV reported. Ulrich was the only witness for the defense. Sentencing is scheduled for June 17.
He is charged with murder, attempted murder and other counts in the Feb. 9, 2021, shooting at Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo, a city of about 16,400 people that's 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis. He testified that he didn’t want to kill anyone, just cause damage to draw attention to his pleas for medication to alleviate back pain. Investigators have said he was addicted to opioids and angry his supply had been cut off.
Prosecutors began closing arguments by naming each person who was shot, calling them “innocent, defenseless victims who were front-line workers in the medical field.” They asked jurors to consider video Ulrich recorded where he said to “kill as many nurses as you can."
Defense attorneys said they weren't asking for sympathy for Ulrich and instead tried to dispel the notion that the attack was premeditated. They asked jurors to consider Ulrich’s state of mind and played back his confession during a 911 call.
Several of the victims testified this week, at which time Ulrich put his head on the table and didn't look up for two hours. Ulrich told Wright County District Judge Catherine McPherson beforehand that he was in great pain and would prefer to lie down outside the courtroom.
One witness said she heard the gunman call 911 and tell the dispatcher to "send a lot of ambulances. There are a lot of spinal injuries and I have bombs that are about to go off.”
Law enforcement said after the attack that Ulrich was no stranger to them and was known to have been angry over his medical treatment.