Three people, including a police officer were killed and several others were injured in a shooting at the Planned Parenthood medical center in Colorado, Springs, Colorado on Friday, police said.
The victims have been identified as University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Police Officer Garrett Swasey, 44,; Jennifer Markovsky, a 36-year-old married mother of two originally from Hawaii; and Ke’Arre Stewart, a 29-year-old married father and Iraq War veteran.
Five police officers and at least six civilians were injured in the shooting, police said. They have been taken to local hospitals and their conditions have not yet been released. It is not yet known if anyone was killed.
The suspected gunman was taken into custody by police at about 5 p.m. local time., five hours after the first reports of the shooting, a spokesperson for the city of Colorado Springs said on Twitter.
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Police said officers inside the building shouted to the suspect and he surrendered to them without being injured.
Planned Parenthood is located at 3480 Centennial Boulevard.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. The Shooting Started at the Planned Parenthood Building
Police said the incident began at the Planned Parenthood building and did not start with a bank robbery. Victims did leave Planned Parenthood and go to the bank, according to police.
Teams of police have evacuated “numerous people” from the building. The shooting was first reported at about 11:45 a.m.
Police have not confirmed the suspect’s identity or what is motives were. One name circulating on Twitter, Sam Hyde, is a name often passed around as part of a hoax by members of the website 4Chan:
Hyde’s name has also been mentioned after other mass shootings, after the Paris terror attack and as a suspect in racially motivated threats against black students at the University of Missouri.
Vicki Cowart, the president of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, which operates the clinic, said in a statement on Twitter, “This is a live situation and the Colorado Springs Police are the best source for information. At this time, our concern is for the safety of our patients, staff and law enforcement. This is a developing situation, and we’ll continue to share updates as we have them.”
Cowart later issued a press release:
Governor John Hickenlooper has also issued a statement:
A man at the scene told reporters his sister is trapped inside the Planned Parenthood building. He said he heard shots inside the building while talking to his sister on the phone.
At least four police officers have been shot at the scene, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, citing an unnamed police commander.
The conditions of those officers is not known. A SWAT team and several other officers are at the scene.
Firefighters and EMTs have also responded. At least one person was seen being taken away on a stretcher, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The ATF said on Twitter it is also at the scene.
2. Officers Exchanged Gunfire Inside the Planned Parenthood Building
A police spokeswoman said during a press conference that officers inside the Planned Parenthood clinic exchanged gunfire with the shooter.
Dispatchers said the gunman was wearing a long coat and a hunting-type hat, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
Police said the gunman is believed to have used long gun. The spokeswoman said they are not yet in their investigative phase and a lot of information is still unconfirmed.
Lt. Catherine Buckley said the gunman brought several items to the scene, which they are concerned could be explosive devices. They said police will need to keep the scene secure until the devices can be examined. The items included propane tanks, which the gunman may have fired at.
Listen to recorded police radio audio, uploaded to YouTube by Grasswire, from the initial police response below:
Police said because the Colorado Springs officers have been involved in gun fire with the suspect, the El Paso Sheriff’s Office will take over that part of the investigation. The local police department will lead the investigation into the suspect.
3. Nearby Buildings, Including a Shopping Center, Were Locked Down
A nearby shopping center and other buildings were put on lockdown. About 150 people are sheltered in place at a grocery store.
A spokesperson for a nearby Chase Bank, which some have said could possibly have been where the shooting began, said there was no robbery there, the Denver Post reports.
It is snowing heavily in Colorado Springs, with temperatures in the teens.
4. Threats Against Abortion Clinics & Doctors Have Increased This Year
The National Abortion Federation said in September that threats against abortion clinics and doctors have increased this year.
“In my 20 years at NAF, I have never seen such a volume, intensity and escalation of hate speech, threats and criminal activity, and we would like to prevent a serious violent act from occurring,” Vicki Saporta, president of the organization, told The Huffington Post. “We have enlisted law enforcement’s help.”
According to Planned Parenthood’s website, the clinic in Colorado Springs is operated by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and did not appear to be closed for the holiday.
The clinic offers abortion services, birth control, general health care, HIV testing, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and STD testing, treatment and vaccines, the Planned Parenthood website says.
There was a peaceful protest by about 300 people near the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs in August, the Gazette reported at the time.
According to the New York Times, the clinic has a “security room” that includes a supply of bulletproof vests, due to security concerns.
Colorado Springs is in El Paso County, Colorado, about an hour south of Denver. It is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
5. A Gunman Killed 3 People During a Shooting Spree in Colorado Springs Last Month
This is the second active shooter situation in Colorado Springs in a month.
A 33-year-old man randomly killed three people in broad daylight on Halloween before being fatally shot by police.
Noah Harpham, a Colorado Springs resident, battled addiction and recently authored rambling blogs about his father and religion.
The shootings happened at about 8:45 a.m., Colorado Springs Police said. The gunman was heavily armed as he walked down the street. He shot a bicyclist first, and then killed two women. He was then chased by responding officers and gunned down in a shootout.
Read more about that shooting at the link below: