An active shooter situation occurred in Colorado Friday when a man burst into a Planned Parenthood clinic and opened fire. The shooting, which took place in the city of Colorado Springs, left three persons dead and the gunman was taken in alive.
The gunman, 57-year-old Robert Dear of Hartsel, Colo., walked into the Planned Parenthood facility Friday afternoon and rang off shots inside the building which left one University of Colorado Springs police officer and two civilians dead during what morphed into a five-hour standoff.
Nine other people were shot, including five officers, but all were reported to be in good condition by area hospitals. The officer who was killed, Garrett Swassey, was a 44-year-old married father of two.
NBC News reports:
Gunshots were first reported near the facility on Centennial Boulevard in Colorado Springs at around 11:38 a.m. The shooter began firing in the parking lot and then entered the building, a law enforcement official told NBC News. The shooting unfolded during a regular working day, as patients waited for appointments and staff members attended to them.
“I heard everyone in the lobby screaming ‘Get down! Get down!’ and then I saw a gunman walking with a shotgun just shooting randomly outside of Planned Parenthood,” Kentanya Craion said after getting out of the building.
The gunman “seemed calm, but crazy,” she added, describing the man in a hunter’s jacket and hat as “mumbling and ranting while he was shooting.”
She said she ran into an open room with two others where they barricaded themselves inside for about five hours as they heard shots ring out.
Authorities soon tapped into the building’s video surveillance system, and were able to monitor the gunman’s movements, officials said. Several people escaped during the ordeal, thanks in part to police personnel who rammed the side of the building with a truck, officials told NBC News.
Police officers who responded were shot at with officers describing how they were “pinned down” by gunfire.
Dear surrendered to the authorities just before 5:00 p.m. MST. Thus far, the police have yet to signal what Dear’s motives were in enacting the shooting at Planned Parenthood.
Some observers of the shooting noted how Dear survived his encounter with police, which strikes a harrowing comparison if one looks at encounters that Blacks have had with police over the past two years.
Also noticeable is the general lack of response to recent cases involving mass shootings from pro-gun conservatives who have openly stood tall for the right to own high-powered weaponry such as the AK-47 Dear used in his violent assault.
Photo: Colorado Springs Police