Elderly man arrested in Minnesota clinic shooting that wounded five

(Reuters) - An elderly man opened fire inside a Minneapolis-area medical clinic on Tuesday, wounding five people before being arrested by police.

Authorities described the gunman as a disgruntled former patient who was well known to local law enforcement.

The suspect, identified as Gregory Paul Ulrich, 67, was taken into custody after gunfire erupted at the Allina Clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota, about 35 miles (55 km) northwest of Minneapolis.

Local media reported there was also an explosion at the clinic, but officials said they could not immediately confirm those reports. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, citing an emergency dispatch audio, said a bomb exploded in the clinic about 30 minutes after the shooting.

Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke told reporters investigators believe the suspect, a longtime Buffalo resident, acted alone and singled out the clinic over a personal grudge against the facility or its staff.

"The history we have as a department with this individual makes it most likely that this incident was targeted at that facility or at someone in that facility," Budke said.

The police chief referred to an unspecified past "conflict" the suspect had with local healthcare providers.

Ulrich was scheduled to appear for arraignment in the case on Thursday, police said.

Five people wounded by gunfire were transported to area hospitals, Allina Health executive Kelly Spratt said at the news conference. Spratt declined to say whether the victims were clinic patients or staff. Their conditions were not immediately known, Spratt said.

Live video of the clinic broadcast by Minneapolis television station KMSP-TV showed several front windows shattered and an empty wheelchair on the sidewalk near the entrance.

"There may have been (an explosion) prior to our going into the facility, but I can't confirm," Budke said later.

Bomb squad investigators called to the scene were examining a suspicious package found in the clinic's lobby. Additional "suspicious devices" were found at a nearby motel where Ulrich was staying, said Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer.

The sheriff said the motel was evacuated as a precaution, and nearby schools were also placed under security lockdown.

The sheriff said there were records of several public calls to law enforcement about Ulrich dating to 2003. "He's no stranger to law enforcement," he said.

Earlier, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a separate briefing he understood that "improvised explosive devices" were involved but did not say whether any had been detonated.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta and Peter Szekely in New York; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Writing by Frank McGurty; Editing by Chris Reese, Peter Graff, David Gregorio, Sonya Hepinstall and Cynthia Osterman)

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