Police report shootout with gunman at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs

Police report shootout with gunman at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs
Police report shootout with gunman at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs

Officers are exchanging gunfire with a shooter inside the Planned Parenthood building in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lt. Catherine Buckley told reporters Friday.

At least four officers have been injured, she said.

[Breaking news alert, posted at 4:26 p.m. ET Friday]

Officers were still encountering gunfire at a shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, more than two and a half hours after a shooter was first reported in the area, police said. “Still active officers are encountering gunfire,” the Colorado Springs Police Department said on Twitter.

A shopping center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was on lockdown Friday as police searched for a shooter near a Planned Parenthood facility there.

At least three officers were injured, Commander Kirk Wilson with the Colorado Springs Police Department told reporters. Officials at hospitals in the area said they were expecting the arrival of four patients, one of whom had a gunshot wound to the arm.

“We don’t have the suspect yet and we do consider this still an active situation,” Lt. Catherine Buckley told reporters. There could be hostages and there could be an additional shooter at large, she said.

“There are a lot of possibilities with this scenario,” she said. “As I said, it is very active and we are working our way through it.”

It was not immediately clear whether Planned Parenthood was the target of the shooting.

“We’re not sure what the connection is to Planned Parenthood, but that was the original address we received for the call for service,” Buckley said.

Witnesses: Police swarmed area

Denise Speller, who works at a nearby salon, said she heard at least 10 gunshots go off and saw a police officer get hit.

“It was terrifying,” she said, adding that it was unclear exactly where the shots were coming from.

Brigitte Wolfe, who said she works in the area of shooting, told CNN that she saw about five officers behind a building with their guns drawn, as well as about three SWAT vehicles and roughly seven police cars from her vantage point in a strip mall that’s across the street from the Planned Parenthood. A grocery store and bank are nearby, Wolfe noted.

Colorado Springs police tweeted that the shooting took place on Centennial Boulevard. A newspaper in the city, The Gazette, reported that traffic was shut down in both directions on that road and that customers were told to stay put in a nearby grocery store and shops.

That sentiment was echoed by Colorado Springs police, who warned around 12:20 p.m. (2:20 p.m. ET) that the area was “not secure” that those in a nearby shopping center should “shelter in place.”

At a grocery store in the shopping center, an intercom announcement told shoppers not to leave.

The city, in the central part of the Colorado, has more than 400,000 residents.

Planned Parenthood: ‘This is a developing situation’

FBI teams were also responding to the shooting, agency spokeswoman Deborah Sherman said.

Officials released few details as the shooting unfolded, saying their focus was getting the situation under control.

“At this time, our concern is for the safety of our patients, staff and law enforcement,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, said in a written statement. “This is a developing situation, and we’ll continue to share updates as we have them.”

Planned Parenthood is a national health care provider that delivers reproductive health care and sex education to women and men throughout the United States. The organization runs nearly 700 health centers throughout the United States, according to its website.

The group says each year 2.7 million people in the United States visit its health centers for health care services and information.

Dusty Fields

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