COLORADO SPRING, CO – Police are involved in a shootout with a gunman who is still in a Planned Parenthood clinic in what is still an active shooting.
According to 9NEWS.com, the first call of shots fired came from a Planned Parenthood located in the 3400 block of Centennial Boulevard. Eight persons, including four and possibly five officers have been injured, by what is believed to be one shooter said to be a White man wearing a “hunting-type” hat and a long jacket, carrying what has been described as a long gun. He is also believed to have brought items with him as well as placed some outside the building, but police cannot determine what those items are until the scene is stable.
At the time of this posting, the gunman was surrounded in the Planned Parenthood lobby. Police have not said publicly if Planned Parenthood was specifically targeted, and a statement from Vicki Cowart, President of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, in the wake of the shooting noted this as well. She however, also noted the increased tensions in the country stemming from videos produced by conservative propagandists that suggested the organization was selling parts of aborted fetuses. “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country,” the statement read. “We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”
In an interview on CNN, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who once compared Planned Parenthood to Nazi Germany, called such a statement “premature”, saying further that despite watching the videos that he called “barbaric”, a violent assault has not been how many of those who share his views have approached the matter, and should it turn out that Planned Parenthood is not the motivation, he expects an apology from Cowart. “Obviously this person has a mental health issue.” Rep. Kinsinger later said.
Lt. Catherine Buckley, Colorado Springs Police Department noted during an afternoon press conference that Planned Parenthood has been the only business in the shopping mall that has been the focus, although a Chase bank is nearby and some victims were going there.
Aaron Gardner, a blogger for the right wing website Red State and a supporter of defunding Planned Parenthood, especially in the wake of the videos being released, lives only three miles from the shooting location and was actually shopping there and began live tweeting from the scene as well as appeared on CNN.
This was the second mass shooting in Colorado Springs in less than a month. On Halloween, Noah Harpham, 33 randomly killed three people in broad daylight before being fatally shot by police.
Planned Parenthood statement by Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains:
“Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountain’s top priority is the safety of our patients and staff. Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this tragic situation. Planned Parenthood has strong security measures in place, works closely with law enforcement agencies, and has a very strong safety record. We don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack. 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.”