A gunman has opened fire inside a health clinic in the United States and at least one bomb has exploded, leaving several people critically wounded.
Police rushed to the Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo in the state of Minnesota just before 11am local time (5am AEDT) after reports of shots fired.
A male caller from the scene reported there were multiple explosive devices that went off inside the building, emergency dispatch audio reveals, with one officer saying “we see evidence of that”.
“Glass shattered all across,” an officer said over the radio.
Multiple “improvised explosive devices” were found at the healthcare facility, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said during a briefing with reporters, but was unable to provide more details.
“At this time it appears like it was a single individual and again too early to tell motives or reasons why or discuss in a little more detail,” Mr Walz said.
At least five victims were injured during the shooting and the gunman was taken into custody shortly before noon, Wright County spokesman John Holler said.
Local police have identified the suspect as 67-year-old Gregory Paul Ulrich, a Buffalo resident who had been known to investigators since 2003 after a number of unspecified calls, Fox News reported.
Ulrich had a “history” with the clinic, authorities said. He is now in police custody.
“He is no stranger to law enforcement,” Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer said of the suspect, in an afternoon press conference.
“We’ve had several calls for service regarding Gregory Ulrich dating back to 2003.
“The history we have…this incident was targeted at someone … within that facility.
“He had a history of conflict.”
There were three bombs at the facility but only two detonated, according to the local Fox News channel, and a source described the scene as a “disaster”.
Three victims were taken to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, 35 miles away near Minneapolis, which handles severely critical incidents, the Star Tribune wrote.
One of the victims was a female with three gunshot wounds whoe was transported by air, the outlet reported.
Another two victims were transported to Buffalo Hospital, which is part of the Allina health network, the outlet reported.
The situation was declared under control just before noon local time (6am AEDT).
Officials say there is no active threat to the public and the incident was not believed to be terrorism-related, after arresting the suspect.
Local authorities confirmed reports of a bomb threat at the Super 8 Motel, where Ulrich had been staying just a mile away from the Allina clinic.
“We did find additional suspicious devices at the hotel,” he said this afternoon.
“We cleared the area. We have search warrants in hand. We do believe Mr Ulrich acted alone.”
Aerial footage of the medical clinic nearly two hours after the attack showed a stagnant scene but at least three shattered plate-glass windows were visible on the infirmary’s exterior.
A worker from the Bugambilias Cocina Latina, a restaurant behind the clinic, told The New York Post by phone that three nurses rushed into the eatery to get help amid the shooting.
“They said there was a guy and a lot of people were hurt, they just basically run away for their lives,” the worker said.
“The nurses were asking for the phone, they just run away from the clinic and asked for the phone to call their families to tell them they’re OK.”
The worker said they were really “shocked” and were “not able to talk.”
“Some of the nurses don’t even have a coat, and it’s freaking cold outside,” the worker said.
– with AFP