The suspect who barricaded himself inside of a Planned Parenthood building in Colorado, Springs, Colo., has been captured and one police officer is confirmed dead, after an hours-long standoff with police, according to reports from News 11.
News 11 reported that the slain officer was with the UCCS campus police department. All other officers reportedly sustained non life-threatening injuries.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suther confirmed the suspect has been detained and the immediate threat is over. Police originally said the suspect brought several “items” in duffel bags into the building and placed some of those items outside of the scene, preventing first responders from approaching the clinic.
SWAT teams from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Springs Police Department responded to the scene, along with bomb disposal squads and more than 100 officers. Those devices have still not been rendered safe and police are in the process of clearing the building.
Agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives have arrived at the scene. Spokeswoman Lt. Catherine Buckley confirmed that four other officers were wounded. Authorities also said that six other people were taken to area hospitals.
Lt. Buckley said that police received intermittent gunfire from the suspect as they attempted to rescue the wounded and others caught in the crossfire. Police have given the all-clear but businesses in the strip mall are still on lock down, because the entire area is considered a crime scene.
In addition to others who were stranded inside of businesses, at least 150 shoppers and staff inside of the King Soopers supermarket have been unable to leave since the incident began around 11:30 a.m. King Soopers spokeswoman Kelly McGannon said that the building was secure and all persons inside were safe.
The suspect was taken into custody without further incident and was apparently not wounded, according the The Gazette. The Gazette released the following transcript of radio communications between police, as the gunman was taken into custody:
* “He’s going to come out with his hands up.
* “He’s standing up.
* “Can you confirm he has his hands clear?”
* “He’s facing down that hallway to the east, his shoulders down.”
* “Bear, you can back up.”
* “Bear, he is coming out.”
* “We’ve got to take him out if he has any IED suspicion on him.”
* “Are we in the way of the snipers?”
* “Z-39, we have one suspect trained right now.”
* 4:52 p.m.: “We have our suspect right now. He is alone and by himself.”
Authorities said they have as many questions as the media concerning what prompted today’s events. One woman told KKTV 11 News that she saw the gunman open fire on a vehicle shortly before police responded to the area. According to the woman, who said she had been stranded in her car since around 11:30 a.m., a man lost control of his vehicle and crashed, after apparently being shot by the gunman. The man reportedly exited his car, then collapsed from his wounds. Police have declined to discuss the incident or whether the man was fatally wounded.
Another witness said that he heard gunshots from what he thought was a high-caliber rifle, around 11:15 a.m., but did not see the shooter. Preliminary reports from the scene said that it appears the Planned Parenthood clinic was the shooter’s target.