Gunman Gives Up After Killing 3 at Colorado Planned Parenthood - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Gunman Gives Up After Killing 3 at Colorado Planned Parenthood

Courtesy: Joanna Wise, KOAA, NBC Courtesy: Joanna Wise, KOAA, NBC
Jessi Mitchell, KOAA, NBC Jessi Mitchell, KOAA, NBC

Staff Report
NBCNews.com

A gunman entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado on Friday, firing from the building and at police during a five-hour standoff that ended with his surrender.

Three people, including a police officer, were killed, Colorado Springs Police Department Lt. Catherine Buckley said. The police officer who was killed was a member of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs police department, she said.

The gunman walked out of the facility just before 5 p.m. local time and officers took him into custody, officials told NBC News.

Nine people, including five police officers, were shot and wounded, Buckley said. All were in good condition at area hospitals, she said

“At this point I have as many questions as you do,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey told reporters before heading to the hospital to visit injured officers.

Police were still clearing the building as of Friday evening, now a crime scene, to make sure several unidentified items that the gunman brought with him were not dangerous, police said.

The shooting and standoff unfolded during a regular working day at the facility, with patients waiting for appointments and staff members attending to them, Colorado Springs Police Department spokeswoman Catherine Buckley said.

Several escaped during the ordeal, thanks in part to police personnel who rammed the side of the building with a truck, officials told NBC News.

The gunshots were first reported near the Planned Parenthood facility on Centennial Boulevard at around 11:38 a.m., police said.

The gunman, whom authorities have not yet identified, began firing at police from the parking lot and then from inside the building, a law enforcement official told NBC News.

Police officers who responded were fired upon, and the gunman fired at police at various times during the ensuing standoff, police said.

After the shooting, the gunman entered the building. At one point, the gunman, armed with an AK-47-style weapon, was surrounded in the lobby, according to a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the situation.

At one point, the gunman, armed with an AK-47-style weapon, was surrounded in the lobby, according to a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Authorities tapped into the building’s video surveillance system, and were able to monitor the gunman’s movements, officials said.

Nearby businesses were ordered to lock the doors and those inside were told to shelter in place as police responded to the scene. After the standoff ended, authorities began releasing them, Buckley said.

Joan Motolinia said his sister was in the clinic when gunshots were heard. “She called me and she was screaming there was a shooting,” he said. “She couldn’t say too much because she was afraid.”

“She was telling me she was hiding under a table,” Motolinia said. He said he heard more shots over the phone, and his sister hung up.

Caren Kesterson was working at a nearby Supercuts hair salon when two police cars sped past.

“We got up and we looked outside, and it was like almost immediately we heard gunshots — easily over 20,” Kesterson told MSNBC by telephone.

Three police officers were shot in the initial encounters with the gunman, Buckley said, and a fourth officer was shot around two hours later. It is unclear when the fifth officer was hit.

The FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives were among several law enforcement agencies who responded.

A White House official said President Barack Obama was notified about the situation. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a Tweet that “Today and every day, we #StandWithPP”, referring to Planned Parenthood.

Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, said Friday that “we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack.”

But she vowed in a statement: “We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”

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