An active shooter situation lasted for almost 6 hours at a large shopping center that contains the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. 11 people were injured before the gunman was taken to custody.
The gunman began firing multiple shots from inside a building just after 2 p.m. local time, two-and-a-half hours after police first received reports of an active shooter.
“We are exchanging gunfire,” an officer said on the police scanner, which was confirmed ” said Lieutenant Catherine Buckley, the Colorado Springs PD public information officer.
“We have been in contact with a suspect inside the building because the suspect has fired on our officers in the building,” Buckley said at a 4 p.m. local time briefing.
“This scene is going to be going on for the next several hours because there are numerous items that the suspect took with him to the Planned Parenthood building that we will have to inspect once the scene is stabilized,” she added. “This is not a stabilized situation.”
Four officers have been confirmed as injured, and there may be a fifth, Buckley said, noting that she does not know how many civilians have been injured.
Three hostages have been rescued from a bathroom, police said on the scanner. Up to seven civilians were escorted to safety, according to Fisher.
Four hours into the situation, Penrose had received six patients, but would not say how many were police officers versus civilians, the hospital told the Denver Post’s Jesse Aaron Paul.
In the beginning of the attack, the gunman shot multiple people, including a police officer, then barricaded himself inside Planned Parenthood, according to Mike Violette, the executive director for the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police.
As police work to evacuate people out of Planned Parenthood, the gunman fired on officers “recently,” she added. That is the only contact that law enforcement has had with the shooter. “We have not been in voice contact with the suspect,” Buckley noted.