Planned Parenthood shooting: Witness faced off with gunman at parking lot

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3 dead, 9 injured in shooting at Colorado Planned Parenthood, gunman identified.

A law enforcement official tells the Associated Press the gunman in a shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood Friday has been identified as Robert Lewis Dear. “She was telling me to take care of her babies because she could get killed.” — Joan Motolinia on his sister Jennifer, a mother of three, who was inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when a gunman opened fire, killing three people. “That needs to end.A series of videos attempting to discredit Planned Parenthood ignited a wave of threats, arson and protests against the medical clinics and culminated in a deadly shooting in Colorado, pro-choice activists believe. Too many have already died.” — Frank Chapman, 73, one of hundreds of protesters in Chicago gathering to draw attention to the 2014 killing of a black teenager by a white police officer. “There’s no one out here! The two manipulated videos released by the Center for Medical Progress show what appears to be Planned Parenthood employees with its Denver facility discussing the harvesting of fetal tissue for science — and being reimbursed for it — increased threats against clinics that both offer abortions and those that do not.

This is sad.” — Susan Montoya, of Denver, who had nearly an entire Kmart to herself on Black Friday, which traditionally is the biggest shopping day of the year. Five hours after the siege began, the suspect was taken into custody, the city of Colorado Springs confirmed in a message posted on the municipal Twitter account. Here’s how the scene unfolded (all times are Mountain time): • 1:10 p.m.: Authorities announce three police officers are injured after exchanging gunfire with the shooter.

Police say the gunman has been “contained.” • 5:09 p.m.: At a press conference, police announce they are combing the area for any suspicious items the gunman may have brought into the building. The national advocacy group has catalogued a “gamut” of threats sent to its network of medical clinics in the form of social media posts, phone calls, letters and emails — some calling for vandals to raze Planned Parenthood facilities. According to authorities multiple injuries have been reported. (Daniel Owen/The Gazette via AP) Two hospitals in the area reported receiving a total of nine patients from the shooting, but a police spokeswoman said not all of those injured could immediately be transported from the scene, suggesting some of the victims might still be trapped inside the clinic.

The official, who had direct knowledge of the case, spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak to the media about the ongoing investigation. Authorities later say one police officer and two civilians were killed, and four other cops and five people were taken to the hospital with injuries from the assault.

Vicki Cowart, the president of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, tweeted: “At this time, our concern is for the safety of our patients, staff and law enforcement” A spokesperson for the Colorado Springs Police Department was unable to say whether anyone had been killed, or whether the gunman had taken any hostages. Clinics in Pullman, Wash., Aurora, Ill., New Orleans, La., and Thousand Oaks, Calif., were the target of arsonists this year, but no arrests have been made. The gunman was arrested after a violent stand-off that dragged on for five hours, ending only when officers finally made voice contact with him by shouting to him and convinced him to surrender. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone.” The attack garnered little attention from Republican presidential candidates, but both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton threw their support behind Planned Parenthood in light of the deaths.

CBS News reported that a gunman fired shots upon entering the clinic, which was guarded by security, and that law enforcement officials were concerned about the possibility of explosives being involved. Buckley also said the unidentified man had brought “items” with him inside the building and left some outside, meaning officers had to make sure they were not “any kind of devices.” The gunman apparently began his deadly spree at the Planned Parenthood building, although it was not clear if his motive was related to the organization.

Police closed Centennial Boulevard in both directions and customers were locked down at a King Soopers grocery store and several nearby shops in the strip mall area. Eight people have died in violence against abortion providers since 1977, not including Friday’s attacks, according to data collected by the National Abortion Federation.

President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting by his Homeland Security adviser, Lisa Monaco, and “will be updated on the situation as necessary, a White House official said. There are a lot of possibilities with this scenario.” Lt Buckley said the shooter was armed with some kind of “long weapon” with a shoulder stock such as a rifle and some witnesses reported hearing automatic fire. George Tiller — A Kansas physician who provided late-term abortions was shot and killed while working as an usher at his Wichita church by Scott Roeder in 2009.

Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols — The two receptionists at a Brookline, Mass., clinic were shot to death in 1994 by John Salvi, who took his own life while imprisoned in 1996. One of the officers appeared to fall to the ground and the other office knelt down to render aid, then tried to get the officer to safety behind the car, she said. News footage from the snowy scene shows a sheriff’s department SWAT team with an armoured vehicle arriving at what police say is an ongoing situation. As in much of the rest of the country, abortion is a divisive issue in Colorado, figuring prominently in attack ads during last year’s Senate race between incumbent Democrat Mark Udall and Republican challenger Cory Gardner, the winner of the election.

Clinics have reported nearly 7,000 incidents of trespassing, vandalism, arson, death threats, and other forms of violence since then, according to the abortion-rights group. One man was charged with trespassing in 2012 after flouting as many as 30 warnings to keep of clinic property, the paper said Early police reports painted a chaotic picture of the situation. “The area is NOT secure. Ambulances and police vehicles are lined up near an intersection, and police have told people via Twitter to stay away from the “active shooter scene”.

Colorado Springs was the scene of a mass shooting on Oct. 31 in which a gunman killed three people near downtown before dying in a shootout with police. The New York City Police Department reported it had redeployed some of its “critical response” vehicles to Planned Parenthood locations throughout the city.

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