BUFFALO, MINN. — As pipe bombs went off in an primary care clinic and five people lay wounded — one of whom who would soon die — Gregory Ulrich called 911 and calmly warned police that they'd be facing a scene of carnage.
"I would send a lot of ambulances," said Ulrich, charged with premeditated first-degree murder and a host of other crimes in the Feb. 9, 2021, attack on the Allina Health Buffalo Clinic. "A bomb or two is going to go off."
A stunned police dispatcher asked Ulrich to give her more information on the incident.
"Tell me anything you can about the party that's shooting," she said in urgent tones.
"I am [the party]," Ulrich replied. "There are five injured. I hope they're not bleeding that bad."
The recording of Ulrich's 911 call was played Tuesday in the second day of testimony at his trial in Wright County District Court, along with two other 911 calls received as panicked clinic employees and patients scrambled to get out of the building where, charges say, Ulrich shot five people, killing one.
Andrea Wurm had brought her 2-month-old daughter to the clinic for a checkup. She was sitting in the lobby, she testified, when Ulrich walked in and pulled a gun on two women at the front desk.
"I'm afraid you're in trouble," he said, opening fire. Wurm grabbed her daughter's infant carrier and ran outside, where she called 911 and then texted her brother, a doctor who was working at the clinic that day.
"Are you in your office?" she texted. "Stay in there."
In fact, Dr. Jesse Klingelhoets was in his office, taking cover with two other clinic employees. Klingelhoets said the experience seemed unreal, with explosions, gunfire and screaming as the odor of gunpowder filled the air.
"Fear kind of welled up in me" with gunshots firing, he testified. At one point he heard a male voice call for help, but he didn't run to it, he said, "because of the coldness, the casualness of the voice," which he believed to be the attacker.
The clinic had had a training session on active shooters just months earlier, he testified. Remembering the "run, hide, fight" mantra from the session, Klingelhoets said he was ready to grab for the gun if the shooter came into the office where he and the others were hiding.
Earlier, a succession of police officers testified about arriving at the scene and storming the building where they took Ulrich into custody. They ran toward danger, even though they feared the attacker might be prepared to shoot them or remotely detonate another bomb.
"It was pretty loud. It was very chaotic," said Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. James Brings, one of the first officers on the scene. Brings choked up briefly during his testimony, stopping to compose himself and grab a tissue.
Sgt. Eric Thole, a Wright County sheriff's deputy, testified that he believed the attacker would lure them into an ambush and try to gun down as many officers as possible.
"It was a little bit of a blur," he said, with broken glass crackling and a gunpowder haze in the air.
Derek Jacobson, a Buffalo police officer, was the first to reach medical assistant Lindsay Overbay as she lay bleeding. He was doing chest compressions on her, he testified, saying "stay with me."
"She basically died in my arms," he said.