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27 Nov, 2015 19:02

11 people injured in Colorado Springs shootings, suspect in custody

11 people injured in Colorado Springs shootings, suspect in custody

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.

The gunman is firing at passing cars, KRDO reported.

Two of the injured officers have been moved to safety, while police are still trying to move the third out of harm’s way, KXRM’s Kody Fisher reported.

Police are rescuing people trapped in the Planned Parenthood clinic and bringing them to safety in an armored vehicle. In the last round, six females and one male exited the BEARCAT and entered either ambulances or police vehicles, according to the CS Gazette’s Stephen Hobbs.

An officer said on his radio that he was trying to “get a look at” the gunman, when the back window of his police cruiser was shot out, the CS Gazette reported.

The injured police officer was shot in the hand, and a second officer has been injured, law enforcement told KKTV.

The gunman is a white male who is about 6 feet tall with a white beard wearing a hunting outfit, boots and a tan hat, a witness told police, according to the scanner traffic.

“We can’t confirm where the shooter is,” Lieutenant Catherine Buckley, the Colorado Springs PD public information officer, told reporters during a briefing. “We do not know whether he is contained or not. We cannot verify.”

Officers and detectives have been deployed into businesses in the area, and there is still the possibility of hostages, Buckley added.

At least six victims have been brought to Penrose-St. Francis Hospital, while at least three patients have arrived at Memorial Hospital, KRDO reported. The conditions of the transportees have not been announced.

Law enforcement on the scene must also battle the elements with snow starting to accumulate on top of police vehicles. It is currently 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 degrees Celsius).

At one point during the standoff, a man wearing a handgun on his waist and an ammunition vest around his chest appeared to walk up to police to ask if he could help.

“Officers told him to leave immediately because appearing at the scene while wearing firearms and that equipment was a bad idea,” the CS Gazette reported.

Colorado Springs Police Department has issued a shelter-in-place order for the shopping center. 

Several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are on the scene, including the Colorado Springs PD, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs PD, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and the ATF.

In accordance with a state law passed last year, the El Paso Sheriff’s Office will be in charge of the investigation into Colorado Springs police officers’ actions because the local force has the “probability that they were involved with this suspect,” Buckley said. Colorado Springs PD will still be in charge of investigating the suspect and the crime scene.

“At this time, our concern is for the safety of our patients, staff and law enforcement,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a statement.