A “stocky, bearded white male wearing a trench coat” is currently in custody following an hours-long standoff and shootout at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that left three dead, including one police officer.
[Our original breaking news post is below.]
Police are responding to an active shooter at or near a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, the Denver Post reports. At least four police officers have been wounded. Nine people altogether have been brought to local hospitals.
The shooter was originally reported to have been at a Planned Parenthood, but police have since revised their account of the situation to say that the shooter is “near” a the Planned Parenthood—which could either indicate that the earlier reports were wrong, that the shooter has moved, or that the shooter’s location is unclear. From the Colorado Springs Gazette:
An active shooter was reported near a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs.
The office is at 3480 Centennial Blvd.
Scanner traffic indicated at least two officers were down, one near a dumpster, and another taken by ambulance to a hospital. A dispatcher said one patient was wounded at Elite Vision, located an adjacent building at 3470 Centennial Blvd.
BREAKING NEWS..ACTIVE SHOOTER, COLORADO SPRINGS. Shooter described as a White Male, 40 yrs. of age, Black coat, wearing a hat with flaps....— Mike Brooks (@tvdetective) November 27, 2015
“Right now we don’t know if there are any hostages,” a police sergeant in Colorado Springs told CNN, according to KTLA. “It is an ongoing situation. We cannot confirm if an officer has been shot. We do not know if there are any injuries. So far it is one shooter that we know of. It is a very fluid situation.”
ATF, State Patrol, El Paso County Sheriff's office on scene #cosshooting— Stephen Hobbs (@bystephenhobbs) November 27, 2015
More and more law enforcement vehicles arriving— Stephen Hobbs (@bystephenhobbs) November 27, 2015
“We were looking out the window and we had an officer wave us back inside,” Brigitte Wolfe, who works at a nearby restaurant, told the Post. “They have everything blocked off.” According to the New York Times, a local TV station reported that the gunman was firing at cars passing the building.
Update 3:18 p.m. – Colorado Springs police spokesman Lt. Kirk Wilson told the Gazette that the shooter has been “contained,” and that police are working to “extricate” an officer at the scene. Three people trapped in a bathroom closet inside the Planned Parenthood are reportedly communicating with police on the outside via cell phone.
Update 3:42 p.m. – Colorado Springs police confirm that three officers were injured in the ongoing shootout. A police spokeswoman said that while police are unsure of the shooter’s current location—an active manhunt is on the way—the initial call for service was at the Planned Parenthood address. Police have not foreclosed the possibility that there is more than one shooter at large.
Update 4:30 p.m. – CNN reports, citing local hospital sources, that at least six people people have been injured.
Police asking for sniper. A victim was unloaded on a stretcher and onto ambulance @csgazette— Stephen Hobbs (@bystephenhobbs) November 27, 2015
Update 4:37 p.m. – Speaking to reporters, a police spokeswoman confirmed that the shooter, armed with a long gun, is inside the Planned Parenthood building and is currently exchanging gunfire with police officers. She also said that civilians have been injured, but could not say how many.
Security concerns at the clinic were high enough that the clinic had a “security room” with a supply of bulletproof vests, but, according to an officer on the scanner, some of the vests are still in the room, and one may have been worn by the gunman.
Update 5:25 p.m. – “We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a written statement.
“We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”
Update 8:40 p.m. - An officers injured during the standoff has died, according to Colorado police: “It is with great sorrow that we must report that one of the officers shot today the active shooter incident in Colorado Springs has died.”