Buffalo Strong: Community marks 1 year since health clinic shooting

From total heartbreak to hope, it’s been a year of healing since a deadly shooting at a health clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota.

But if there’s a positive from all the pain, it’s "Buffalo Strong," which is much more than a slogan: It’s caring, connecting, but also continuing.

Gregory Ulrich is set to face trial on murder charges in May for the shooting last February that left one worker dead and four others hurt.

"We’re going to make Buffalo strong mean something and that’s wellness in a community," said Buffalo Mayor Teri Lachermeier.

Recognizing that recovery for those, directly and indirectly, affected included attention to mental health. It remains a big part of the goal to move forward and grow stronger.

"People need to feel connected, and they need to feel that they are safe, and we needed to remind them of that," said Mayor Lachermeier.

Buffalo High School students are also remembering the tragedy but working to prop each other up from total heartbreak to hope. But if there’s a positive from all the making it okay to discuss struggles with mental health that grew with COVID-19 and really surfaced after the shooting.

"It’s still an awful and tragic thing but now more of us feel supported and I guess allowed to talk about what we’re dealing with, and I reach out to others to make sure they’re getting the help they need," said Buffalo High School senior Sydney Rhodes.

Students have been selling flowers hats and t-shirts to raise money for the mental health component of the Buffalo Strong fundraiser.

"We’re partnering with more community agencies, and we’re putting events like this together for our students and to access resources and help because we can’t do it alone," said school counselor Shanlee Maher.

Students say they have never really had a community partnership until now, but it’s made a big difference in not only saying the words but really feeling "Buffalo Strong."