BUFFALO, Minn. – Authorities say multiple people were injured and one person was in custody Tuesday after a shooting at a health clinic in Buffalo,
BUFFALO, Minn. – Authorities say multiple people were injured and one person was in custody Tuesday after a shooting at a health clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota.
The shooting happened late Tuesday morning at the Allina Health clinic in the city about 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Kelly Prestidge, an office manager for the Buffalo Police Department, told The Associated Press. She said there were multiple victims.
The state’s governor said improvised explosive devices were involved in the incident.
“It was an active shooter situation and some improvised explosive devices. It’s not confirmed yet the casualties or those injured,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday afternoon.
One suspect, who appears to have acted alone, was taken into custody, Walz said. The suspect’s motive was unclear, Walz said.
Minnesota State Patrol pilots were flying boxes of blood from the Red Cross to Buffalo Hospital for victims of the shooting, the agency said on Twitter. North Memorial Health spokeswoman Jacquie Fiorillo told USA TODAY victims were also taken to its hospital in Robbinsdale.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said on Twitter that “several” people were “critically” injured.
The Wright County Sheriff’s Office said it received a report of shots fired in the area just before 11 a.m. CT. Police and sheriff’s office officials arrived at the scene and took a suspect into custody.
“The location was evacuated, and several people were transported to area hospitals for injuries,” the office said in a statement. “The public is being asked to stay out of the area as multiple Law Enforcement agencies and Emergency vehicles are still in the area.”
Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke told TV station KSTP that the shooting happened inside the Allina Clinic Crossroads campus. He said the situation was contained as of 11:42 a.m. and that there was no further threat to the public’s safety.
Schools in the area were placed on temporary lockdown as a precautionary measure, the sheriff’s office said.
By early afternoon, several county and local police and fire vehicles were in front of the clinic, and a Minneapolis Police Bomb Squad truck was set up in front of the building’s main entrance. The road south of the clinic, about a mile south of Buffalo Hospital, was closed to traffic.
FBI spokesman Kevin Smith told the Associated Press that the agency’s bomb technicians were on their way to the scene, but he could not confirm media reports about a possible bomb or explosion at the clinic.
Less than three miles from the clinic, a Super 8 hotel was surrounded by law enforcement vehicles Tuesday afternoon. It was not immediately clear how the hotel was related to the incident at the clinic.
The Super 8 hotel and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which owns the hotel chain, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension special agents and crime scene personnel were headed to the scene to assist police in the investigation, Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bruce Gordon told USA TODAY.
Doug Abbott, 60, of Loretto, Minnesota, said he had an 11:35 a.m. appointment at the clinic to check his blood pressure. The entrance was blocked off so he parked in a nearby strip mall lot, where someone mentioned they saw a report of a shooter online.
A nurse then called to cancel his appointment due to an “incident,” he said.
“She said, ‘We’re in a lockdown’ and I told her I was praying for them,” he said. “Had (my appointment) been a half-hour earlier, I could have been one of the witnesses — hopefully not dead.”
Allina Health, a nonprofit health system based in Minneapolis, owns or operates 12 hospitals and more than 90 clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the company’s website.
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who represents Buffalo, said on Twitter that he and his staff were monitoring the situation.
“Praying for the staff and patients at @AllinaHealth in Buffalo. My staff and I are in contact with Allina’s team & we hope that this horrible situation will come to a quick and peaceful resolution,” he wrote.
Minnesota Rep. Marion O’Neill said the incident was an “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,” O’Neill said.
Klobuchar said the “tragic shooting” happened not far from where she grew up.
“So sad for all those there at clinic and those injured and praying for their recovery. Thanks to those saving lives right now. Gun violence must stop,” she wrote on Twitter.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said on Twitter that she was “devastated” by the news of the incident.
“My thoughts are with all the victims and their families right now,” she wrote.
This story is breaking. Please check back for additional details.
Contributing: Associated Press