Former roommate: Buffalo suspect had history of drugs, mental problems

A former roommate of Greg Ulrich, the suspect arrested in connection to a shooting that left multiple injured and one dead in Buffalo, said the man is "nothing but trouble."

Ulrich, 67, was arrested Tuesday after he reportedly shot several people, injuring four and killing another, at the Allina Health Clinic. He is also suspected of placing explosive devices throughout the city.

Raymond Zandstra was probably closer to Greg Ulrich than almost anyone, and he knew he was unstable.

"He showed me a new handgun he got, I said, ‘What?’ You shouldn’t have a gun," Zandstra said.  

Zandstra lived with Ulrich in his trailer home for two years, until July of last summer when Ulrich got a restraining order against Zandstra, who was trying to buy the trailer from Ulrich.  

He said Ulrich had a particular grudge against doctors in Buffalo.

"He didn’t like the doctors because they wouldn’t give him all the pain killers he wanted. They’d give him a month supply, and it would be gone in a few days," Zandstra said.  

He said Ulrich had a particular grudge against one of the doctors and posted a sign in front of his mobile home calling him "a quack."

Zandstra said Ulrich was frequently high on pain killers and witnessed him sniff model glue, smoke marijuana, drink excessively, and "just sit on the couch high."  

He said a year ago he also saw a letter Ulrich received granting a permit to carry a weapon.  

"They knew, they knew he was a wack job," said Zastra, referring to local law enforcement. 

Permits to carry a weapon are not considered public documents in Minnesota. FOX 9 reached out to Buffalo Police and the Wright County Sheriff for comment.

Ulrich was charged with violating that restraining order taken out by a doctor at the Buffalo Allina Clinic, but in November of 2018 those charges were dropped because Ulrich was found not mentally competent to stand trial.  

As part of a pre-sentence investigation for that case, Buffalo Police informed the court that Ulrich had attempted to apply for a permit to purchase a gun, but it had not yet been approved.   

In June 2019 probation agent said, "It is highly recommended that the defendant not be allowed to have use or possession of any dangerous weapons."  The agent wrote that he had not recommended that in his original pre-sentence investigation.  

In November 2019 A judge ordered Ulrich not to have contact with the doctor and to turn in any weapons or permits for weapons.

The roommate said police showed up more than a dozen times while he lived with Ulrich. 

Criminal records show Ulrich was convicted three times of drunk driving, and court records show in 2019 he was found not mentally competent to participate in a criminal proceeding. 

In a protracted civil case, Ulrich had accused one of his neighbors of stealing his parking space. The case stemmed from an incident 12 years ago. A judge recently dismissed the case because it exceeded the statute of limitations.

"He couldn’t even drive, legally. What did he need a parking space for?" asked Zandstra.

Additionally, Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo received a disturbing letter from Ulrich in 2019, according to the church website.  

"Pastor Ted informed the council of a disturbing letter received from Greg Ulrich," the church newsletter read. "The Buffalo Police Department was called and informed Pastor Ted that Mr. Ulrich is well known to them and recommended that a no trespassing order be issued so that if he ever did appear at Zion the police could take action. The order was issued the following day and the staff have been given a picture of Mr. Ulrich and informed to call 911 if he does appear on any of Zion’s properties."