Gunman Opens Fire Near Planned Parenthood Clinic In Colorado Springs

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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A lone gunman holed up for several hours in a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic surrendered to police at around 4:50 p.m. local time on Friday, a police department spokeswoman announced.

Eleven victims were transported to local hospitals — five of them police officers at various agencies — Lt. Catherine Buckley said during a press briefing.

Two civilians and one police officer, 44-year-old Garret Swasey, were killed in the rampage. Swasey was a six-year veteran of the University of Colorado, Colorado State police department.

University chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said in a statement that Swasey was on duty at the school and responded to the active shooter call shortly before noon on Friday.

Vicki Cowens, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told CNN that all staff and patients are safe.

The standoff began shortly before noon on Friday when police responded to a call coming from inside the Planned Parenthood clinic. The gunman, who has not yet been named and who was described as carrying a “long firearm,” reportedly began shooting at officers as they showed up to the scene.

The gunman’s motive is still unclear. It was initially reported that the shooting may have started at another business near the Planned Parenthood clinic, though authorities later said that the incident began at the clinic. Many have speculated that the gunman targeted the clinic because it performs abortions.

Buckley said that the suspect brought several items with him inside the building and that police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are treating them as possible explosives.

Buckley also said that while officers initially did not have verbal contact with the gunman, they were later able to shout at him and convince him to surrender.

The Denver Post published video of a man being led away from the scene of the shooting in handcuffs. The man appears to match descriptions given earlier in the day on police radio.

This post has been updated with new information. Previous reports are below.

Police in Colorado Springs were engaged in a standoff at a Planned Parenthood clinic Friday afternoon with a lone gunman who opened fire near the facility shortly before noon.

At least four police officers and four civilians were injured when the suspect opened fire . Several people inside the Planned Parenthood office were seen rushing from the building after being extracted. Officers were also heard on police radio discussing tactical maneuvers in order to take the suspect out with sniper fire.

It is still unclear whether the gunman, described as a man with a beard and glasses who is wearing a trenchcoat, targeted Planned Parenthood. Some witnesses reported hearing shots fired earlier in the day near a Chase Bank located about a quarter-mile away from Planned Parenthood. Others said that shots were fired from outside.

The original report of this fluid situation is below. 

Police in Colorado Springs have surrounded a supermarket parking lot after an active shooter reportedly opened fire near a Planned Parenthood clinic shortly before noon local time on Friday.

Three officers were injured in the shooting, and civilian injuries are possible, Colorado Springs police commander Kirk Wilson said in a press briefing.

Wilson also said that at least one of the injured officers is still within the area where the gunman is located. Wilson initially stated that the gunman’s location was known, but authorities later backed away from that claim.

And while Wilson gave some indication that Planned Parenthood was the shooter’s target, another Colorado Springs police official, Lt. Catherine Buckley, said at a press conference held about an hour later that authorities are “not sure what the connection is to Planned Parenthood.

Buckley did confirm, however, that the initial police call came from the Planned Parenthood address.

Adding to the confusion over whether Planned Parenthood was targeted are reports that injuries were also reported at a nearby eye doctor’s office.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, a patient at Elite Vision was wounded. Elite Vision is located in a building next to Planned Parenthood, which provides reproductive health services and also performs abortions.

And according to The New York Times, local media reported that the gunman was seen shooting at passing vehicles from the parking lot of the office park where Planned Parenthood and numerous other businesses are located.

In other police radio chatter, an officer said that the suspected gunman shot out the back window of his police cruiser. The suspect was described as wearing a long coat and “hunting-type” hat, according to the Gazette.

Police officers with heavy weaponry and SWAT members were seen staking out the grocery store parking lot.

This article has been updated with additional information.

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