BREAKING: Police exchanging gunfire with gunman inside Colorado Planned Parenthood
Update at 6:20 pm EST: In a press conference at 6:00 EST, Lt. Catherine Buckley confirmed that the shooting incident did, in fact, begin at the Planned Parenthood facility. They said that the information they have indicates they have one male shooter, who brought unidentified "items" with him into the Planned Parenthood facility. He has shot at police "very recently," and the situation is "active."
Updated at 6:09 pm EST
Nov. 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Police are inside a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs exchanging gunfire with at least one shooter, according to Colorado Springs police.
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has urged caution in jumping to conclusions about the motivations of the shooter.
Lt. Catherine Buckley gave the update to media during a press conference shortly before 5:00 EST. It comes shortly after police had told the media that they did not know what the connection between Planned Parenthood and the shooting was, other than that the initial 911 call came from the Planned Parenthood facility.
#CentennialBlshooting situation is still active. Roads are still closed.— Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) November 27, 2015
The incident began shortly before noon Mountain Time (2:00 EST). Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the initial shooting began outside a Chase Bank nearby, and that the shooter then ran into the Planned Parenthood. However, police have since confirmed that the incident did in fact begin inside the Planned Parenthood.
Almost three hours later, the shooter is still on the loose and exchanging gunfire with officers. Police also say they have not ruled out the possibility that there are additional shooters.
At least four officers have been shot, according to Lt. Buckley. There are also reports that as many as four other civilians have also been shot.
Pro-life groups have started responding to the news. Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has urged caution in jumping to conclusions about the motivations of the shooter.
"Information is very sketchy about the currently active shooting situation in Colorado Springs," said Pavone. "The Planned Parenthood was the address given in the initial call to the police, but we still do not know what connection, if any, the shooting has to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion.
"As leaders in the pro-life movement, we call for calm and pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation."
Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, also issued statements.
"Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies," said Newman. "We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone."
"Although we don't know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, based in Washington, D.C.
Planned Parenthood has also issued a statement making clear that it is unknown what the motive of the shooter is. "We don't yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don't yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack," Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said.
News of the shooting first broke when Colorado Springs Fire Department tweeted that police had responded to a shooter at 3480 Centennial Blvd. in Colorado Springs - the location of the Planned Parenthood facility.
77777711*ASFD E9,E5,BC1,S8,73,TM2,T9,IC1 3480 CENTENNIAL BL PLANNED PARENTHOOD Map A36 11:49:11 ACTIVE SHOOTER - FIRE Report C1559910— CSFD PIO (@CSFDPIO) November 27, 2015
The Gazette has reported that one patient was wounded at "Elite Vision," which is located next door to Planned Parenthood, at 3470 Centennial Blvd.
A local woman told The Gazette, that she heard 10-20 gunshots in the space of a few minutes, and that she saw two officers outside the nearby Chase Bank. She saw one of the officers fall to the ground, and the other officer get down and start giving aid.
Media have been warned to stay away from the area, due to the fact that the area is not secure.
CSPD PIO responding to call if active shooter in Centennial Bl. The area is NOT secure. Media do not stage in area!— Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) November 27, 2015
There is no information available about the identity or motivation of the alleged shooter, who reportedly was wearing a long jacket and a "hunting style" hat.