[guest post by Dana]
A shootout involving the police and an individual armed with an AK-47-style weapon at a Planned Parenthood facility just ended as the suspected gunman reportedly walked out of the building and was immediately taken into custody.
From a news conference right before the stand-off ended:
At a press conference at 4:07 p.m., Lt. Catherine Buckley with the Colorado Springs Police Department said the scene is still active and they have not established voice contact with a suspect in the Planned Parenthood building. Police say the suspect has fired at police. People are being evacuated from the Planned Parenthood building.
Buckley said the suspect brought items into the building with him. There are also items he left outside the building. Police do not know what they are and can’t go inside until the scene is stable.
Police say the incident is contained in the Planned Parenthood building, but people who are in businesses and buildings in the vicinity of the shooting will stay in lockdown until the area is deemed safe.
The shootout began late this morning:
The gunshots were first reported near the Planned Parenthood facility on Centennial Boulevard at around 11:38 a.m.
The gunman, whom authorities have not been able to identify, began firing at police from the parking lot and then from inside the building, a law enforcement official told NBC News.
Three officers were injured initially, and a fourth officer was later hurt, Buckley said. She added later that a fifth may have been injured as well.
After the shooting, the gunman entered the building.
All in all, 11 people have been reported injured in today’s shootout. Five of the injured are police officers. Authorities warned that there could be more as the crime scene is processed.
In spite of news reports – and Planned Parenthood itself – stressing that it was not known whether the organization was the target of the shooting, Planned Parenthood, nonetheless, released this statement:
And Cecile Richards, president of PPFA, followed up with a tweet of her own:
We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) November 27, 2015
Further, it was reported that President Obama had been notified of the shootout.
Our prayers are with the injured and their families.
UPDATE: Two unidentified civilians and a police officer were killed in the shootout. Garrett Swasey, 44, worked for the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. According to the university’s chancellor, Swasey went 10 miles to the scene of the shootout “in support of an officer under fire”. He was a six-year veteran of the university’s police force.