Update: Around 5 p.m. local time Friday, a gunman who opened fire at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was arrested and taken into police custody alive, according to Mayor John Suthers. Late Friday evening, a law enforcement source told CNN the gunman was Robert Lewis Dear. At least 11 people were taken to hospitals for treatment, including five officers, authorities said. The Colorado Springs Police Department has confirmed that three victims, one Colorado Springs police officer and two civilians, have died.
Earlier: A gunman reportedly walked into a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs and opened fire late Friday morning. Police officers, firefighters, and other law enforcement personnel have been deployed to the 3400 block of Centennial Boulevard, where the office is located. Surrounding businesses as well as Planned Parenthood have been placed on lockdown and officials are telling those in the area to shelter in place. Photos of the Planned Parenthood shooting scene directly reflect the heightened security as police desperately search the area to find the alleged gunman.
It's been difficult for media as well as citizens to take photos of the area, as a large section of Centennial Boulevard is currently closed. Eyewitness accounts paint a picture of an intense scene where civilians are stuck waiting for the lockdown to lift and the gunman to be contained. In an interview with The New York Times, Fusion Nails employee Quan Hoang described the situation as "unreal." Fusion Nails is just south of the Planned Parenthood building. Local newspaper The Gazette has been gathering witness accounts of the incident, including a man who was on the phone with his sister while she was in the facility. The man said he heard gunshots over the phone.
Denise Speller, who works at a hair salon near Planned Parenthood and is currently sheltering in place in the area was also interviewed by The Gazette. "We’re still pretty freaked out. We can’t stop shaking. For now we’re stuck back here not knowing," Speller said, describing the scene. She was also interviewed on CNN and had this to say about the situation:
We'd just had a guest leave the shop and we saw officers fly into the parking lot with their lights on and everything... there were officers everywhere in the whole perimeter then we saw one of the officers that was behind the Chase Bank — we heard several gunshots — and then we saw one of the officers go down behind his car and then the other officer helped him to safety. It was terrifying.
Recent updates from the scene of the Colorado Springs shooting indicate that eight people have been transported to the hospital with injuries, half of whom are police officers. Authorities have said that this is still an active shooter scene. Additional gunfire has been exchanged between the gunman and law enforcement, who are currently looking to contain the suspect. For now, Planned Parenthood and surrounding buildings remain on lockdown.
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