UPDATE: Suspect Identified in Planned Parenthood Attack; President Obama Responds

***UPDATED at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 28th***

Police have identified the suspect in an attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs as Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina.

The 6-foot-4-inch man was taken into custody Friday after an hourslong standoff and shootout. Jail booking records indicate that Dear is due in court on Monday.

No other details about the suspect were immediately available, including whether he had any connection to Planned Parenthood. Police say three people, including an officer, were killed in the attack.

Lt. Catherine Buckley said Saturday that the items that Dear brought to the scene are “no longer a threat.” She wouldn’t say what the items were or why they were no longer a threat.

Buckley says investigators expect to study the crime scene for several days.

President Barack Obama says the Planned Parenthood shootings show the urgent need “to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons on war” for “people who have no business wielding them.”

“Enough is enough,” Obama says in a statement a day after a gunman killed three people at a Colorado clinic.

Obama says it’s not known what motivated the shooter, but it’s clear “more Americans and their families had fear forced upon them” – and that, the president says, “is not normal. We can’t let it become normal.”

He says if “we truly care about this – if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience,” then America must make it harder to get guns.


colorado shootings

***UPDATED at 5:18 a.m. on Saturday, November 28th***

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Officials say the officer killed in the Planned Parenthood clinic shootings in Colorado Springs on Friday was 44-year-old Garrett Swasey (SWAY’-zee).

Swasey was a member of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Police Department. The university says Swasey had gone to the clinic to support Colorado Springs police after he learned of the shooting.

Mayor John Suthers says the community “mourns the loss of a very brave police officer.”

Swasey was a six-year veteran of the department.

Police say five other officers were wounded and hospitalized in good condition.

Mike Violette (vee-oh-LET’), executive director of the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, says he can’t recall another incident in Colorado in which six officers were shot.

Two civilians were also killed in the rampage and four others are reportedly in good condition at a local hospital.

A man identified as Robert Lewis Dear is in custody.


***UPDATED at 7:15 P.M. on Friday, November 27th***

Colorado Springs, CO (Fox21 News) – According to Colorado Springs’ mayor, John Suthers, the suspect in a Friday afternoon shooting in which 5 police officers and 6 civilians were injured has now been taken into custody.

For continued coverage on this shooting, and as the investigation continues, keep checking back on WJBF.com for updates.

***UPDATED at 6:42 P.M. on Friday, November 27th***

Colorado Springs, CO (FOX21 News) – Lieutenant Catherine Buckley, of the Colorado Springs Police Department, just finished a press conference in which wshe updated the media on a shooting incident that happened Friday afternoon.

Here’s what was covered by Lt. Buckley:

Four officers injured, could be a fifth officer. Unknown number of civilian casualties.

The suspect brought bags and other items into the Planned Parenthood building with him. They need to be checked out before police can begin a thorough investigation.

There is an unknown number of casualties. Started at the Planned Parenthood building, victims left and went to a bank nearby. The suspect did not enter any other buildings. He is still in the Planned Parenthood building.

“At this point, we have one suspect, obviously, we look for additional suspects,” said Lt. Buckley. “We have not even confirmed the name to the suspect…we are in contact with him because he’s shot at our officers. “We are working with the staff at the Planned Parenthood building to identify people [and where they were] and get them out of the building safely. “We have been working to actively evacuate people from the [Planned Parenthood] building.”

Agencies across the region are assisting with the investigation including officers from the University of Colorado Springs and FBI.

“Our first concern as officers is that the public is safe,” Lt. Buckley said, adding, “We are doing are job and we’re trying to make sure that the public is safe.”

It’s unclear what type of weapon the suspect is armed with. According to initial reports, it was some type of a “long gun,” according to Buckley.

Friday was an active, open day for the Planned Parenthood. There were staff and patients with appointments in the building when the suspect entered.

The next briefing is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST

The situation is still active at this time.

***UPDATED at 5:07 P.M. on Friday, November 27th***

Colorado Springs, CO (MEDIA GENERAL) – We have learned there is now a 4th officer injured in an active shooter situation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The incident is happening near the Planned Parenthood on Centennial Boulevard, near the intersection with Fillmore Street. It was first reported around 1:45 p.m. ET.

Police surround the parking lot of the King Soopers on Centennial Boulevard. (Courtesy: Kody Fisher/FOX21 News)
Police surround the parking lot of the King Soopers on Centennial Boulevard. (Courtesy: Kody Fisher/FOX21 News)

Police tell WJBF News Channel 6’s sister station, FOX21, that 4 officers have been shot.at least three officers have been injured. An unknown number of civilians have also been injured. Police say the situation is not stable.

Officials at Penrose Hospital say five victims have been taken to the emergency room there. The ER is on lockdown. Officials at Memorial Hospital say three victims have been taken to their emergency room. It’s unknown whether any of these victims are police officers.

Centennial Boulevard is closed from Garden of the Gods Road to Fillmore Street.

Residents are urged to avoid the area. Police say anyone in the area should shelter in place.

***UPDATED at 3:23 P.M. on Friday, November 27th***

Colorado Springs, CO (ABC News) –  Three officers were shot amid an active shooter situation in Colorado Springs Friday afternoon and there may be more victims, police said.

Officials said the shooter was “contained” but did not elaborate.

An image made from KKTV video shows police responding to an active shooter situation in Colorado Springs, Co., Nov. 27, 2015. (Photo courtesy: KKTV/ABC News)
An image made from KKTV video shows police responding to an active shooter situation in Colorado Springs, Co., Nov. 27, 2015. (Photo courtesy: KKTV/ABC News)

Police have asked residents to avoid the area near Centennial Boulevard and West Fillmore Street. They also tweeted that a stretch of Centennial Boulevard, from Garden of Gods Road to Fillmore, has been closed in both directions.

Gallery: Active shooter in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is the second most populous city in the state and is located about 70 miles south of Denver.

***POSTED at 3:10 P.M. on Friday, November 27th***

Colorado Springs, CO (CNN) – Police said Friday they were responding to a call of an active shooter in Colorado Springs, near a Planned Parenthood facility.

“Right now we don’t know if there are any hostages,” Sergeant Kevin Miyakusu, of the Colorado Springs Police Department, told CNN. “It is an ongoing situation.”

Brigitte Wolfe, who said she works in the area of shooting, told CNN that she saw about five officers behind a building with their guns drawn, as well as about three SWAT vehicles and roughly seven police cars from her vantage point in a strip mall that’s across the street from the Planned Parenthood. A grocery store and bank are nearby, Wolfe noted.

Photos taken by Kody Fisher, a reporter with CNN affiliate KXRM, showed an ambulance and, in another picture. at least two police officers crouched behind a patrol car an ambulance at one intersection.

Miyakusu said he didn’t know of any injuries, adding that police are only aware of a single shooter.

“It is a very fluid situation,” he said.

Colorado Springs police tweeted that the shooting took place on Centennial Boulevard. A newspaper in the city, The Gazette, reported that traffic was shut down in both directions on that road and that customers were told to stay put in a nearby grocery store and shops.

That sentiment was echoed by Colorado Springs police, who warned around 12:20 p.m. (2:20 p.m. ET) that the area was “not secure” that those in a nearby shopping center should “shelter in place.”

The city, in the central part of the Colorado, has more than 400,000 residents.

It was not immediately clear whether Planned Parenthood was the target of the shooting.

Planned Parenthood is a national health care provider that delivers reproductive health care and sex education to women and men throughout the United States. The organization runs nearly 700 health centers throughout the United States, according to its website.

The group says each year 2.7 million people in the United States visit its health centers for health care services and information.

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