3 Dead, Suspect Held In Shootings At Colorado Planned Parenthood
Updated 2:30 a.m. ET
A suspect is in custody in shootings at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colo., the city's mayor announced at a press conference Friday, and officers are actively checking the building for any additional suspects or devices.
"The situation has been resolved; there is no continuing peril to the citizens of Colorado Springs," Mayor John Suthers said.
Several media outlets reported that a Colorado Springs law enforcement official has identified the suspected gunman as 59-year-old Robert Lewis Dear. Meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Police Department tweeted Friday night that the suspect's name has not been confirmed.
No further updates in #CentennialBlShooting. The suspect's name has not been confirmed and will not be confirmed tonight— Colorado Springs Police Department (@CSPDPIO) November 28, 2015
Two civilians and one police officer were killed, the mayor said at a press conference. Two law enforcement sources told the Denver Post that the officer was from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs force.
UCCS reported that the officer was Garrett Swasey, 44, a six-year veteran of the department. The civilian victims have not yet been identified.
At least nine other people were injured in the shootings, including four police officers, in and near the clinic, Lt. Catherine Buckley of Colorado Springs Police said at a media briefing. All were reported to be in good condition as of 9 p.m. ET.
No motive is known, and Buckley has said that police are unsure of any connection to Planned Parenthood, though police in Denver and New York reportedly were increasing their presence at clinics there as a precaution.
She said that the type of weapon used was initially thought to be a long gun, and that the suspect brought bags, and possibly items resembling propane tanks, to the building.
"Several of those are inside the Planned Parenthood building and some of them are in front of it," she said, and they'll have to investigate each of the items before the scene can be cleared and investigated. Clearing the facility room by room could take some time, Buckley said.
"You have treatment rooms, you have waiting rooms, you have offices, you have bathrooms," she said.
The situation began around 1:38 p.m. ET when they received a call from the clinic, and concluded just before 7 p.m. ET with the suspect's arrest.
Penrose Hospital & St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs and Memorial Hospital confirmed to NPR's Jason Beaubien that they had received patients.
Beaubien also confirmed that the shooting did take place from inside the building that houses the Planned Parenthood clinic. That building also houses some private doctors' offices.
The Denver Post spoke with Joan Motolinia, who said his sister was in the clinic:
"He talked to her by phone about 1:30 p.m. She was at the clinic for an appointment and was hiding under a table and was only able to talk briefly.
" 'She was very afraid,' he said.
"While she was talking, he could hear gunfire in the background and after about two minutes, his sister hung up on him.
" 'She was telling me to take care of her babies,' he said. 'I heard some shots so people were in there shooting for sure.'
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed to NPR's Carrie Johnson that the agency is on the scene. Buckley said 115 Colorado Springs police officers participated in the response, alongside officers from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and ATF and FBI personnel.
Crime scene investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and regional explosives units also had arrived to process the crime scene.
Ambulances and police cars are gathered in the street near the building, and police told people to stay away from the scene. Nearby buildings are under lockdown.
Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee tweeted that Vicki Cowart, head of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, issued a statement saying, "Our concern is for the safety of our patients, staff and law enforcement."
Cowart told CNN that all of the clinic's staff had been accounted for, and that she didn't believe any of them, or any of the clinic's patients, were among the injured.
She said that her organization would review its security systems and protocols — "we'll have to figure out how he broke the perimeter" — but that all area clinics other than the one in Colorado Springs would be open and seeing patients as usual on Saturday.
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