BUFFALO, Minn. (FOX 9) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says police officers in Buffalo may have prevented the loss of some life after the shooting at an Allina Health clinic in Buffalo.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday afternoon, Walz said he was briefed by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension one hour after the shooting. He called the incident a "tragedy."
"I want to extend heartfelt prayers and thoughts to (Allina staff and families) and a heartfelt thanks to the Buffalo Police Department and Wright County Sheriff who responded, from everything I’m hearing, in an incredibly fast manner," Walz said, "and probably, when the data comes out, saved lives by their actions. We’re grateful for that."
Walz declined to address the shooter's motive when asked if staff had been inside the facility.
He said he had spoken with Buffalo's mayor Tuesday afternoon. The Minnesota State Patrol, BCA and Department of Natural Resources officers all responded to the scene, the governor said.
The suspect, 67-year-old Greg Ulrich, is in custody and is believed to be the only person involved. Walz said it is "too early to tell motives or reasons why" the incident occurred, but offered his thoughts and prayers to the victims, their families and the members of law enforcement that responded to the scene.
Buffalo Mayor Teri Lachermeier spoke at a news conference with law enforcement Tuesday afternoon.
"We’re going to make it through this. It’s going to be difficult," she said. "This doesn’t happen in Buffalo, Minnesota."
State Rep. Marion O’Neill, who represents Buffalo, released the following statement, calling it an "unimaginable tragedy":
"I have been in contact with Wright County Sheriff Deringer and Buffalo Police Chief Budke offering my support for anything they may need to help our community through this unimaginable tragedy. My friends, my children and grandchildren live and work in Buffalo and while we do not yet know who the injured are, we are all connected. My heart breaks for these victims, their families and our community," said O’Neill. "I want to thank the Buffalo police officers, Wright County Sheriff's Deputies and first responders who ran toward danger instead of away from it, and the medical personnel who made sure that those injured had the best care possible. My prayers are with those who were hurt as they begin down the difficult road to recovery."
Statement from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey:
"There is an unspeakable depravity in doing harm to those who work to heal us. Those who have stepped up and risked their own health for ours. Our first responders are on their way to the scene to help. Today Minneapolis stands with our neighbors in Buffalo."
The Minneapolis Police Department’s bomb squad responded to the scene.
Statement from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar:
"I am deeply saddened by the violence that took place today at the Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo. I am grateful for our state’s first responders who bravely rushed patients to safety, risking their own lives to help others. As we continue to learn additional details about what happened, I join my fellow Minnesotans in praying for a full recovery for the victims."