It was a typical day at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday morning until a little after 11, when gunshots were heard from the parking lot. The shooter then came into the building where police officers quickly responded. A standoff unfolded, and lasted nearly 6 hours. Police officers surrounded the building, and the busy Colorado city with over 400,000 residents was put at standstill. Officers urged citizens to stay inside nearby businesses. Roadways surrounding Planned Parenthood were also blocked for hours as the shootout commenced.
The shooter eventually surrendered, after killing three individuals and leaving nine others wounded. The nine people that were injured included five police officers, fortunately all were able to leave the scene safely and are apparently in good condition. The officer that was killed was 44 year-old Garret Swasey, who worked for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs police department. It has not been confirmed if the two other murdered victims were staff members or patients. The suspected gunman is 57 year-old Robert Lewis Dear, and he will appear in Court on Monday without bond. Witnesses described his behavior as calm, yet crazy.
Planned Parenthoods provide reproductive healthcare and education to men and women nationwide. Abortions are one of the services provided by the company, which has led to scrutiny from anti-abortion groups. These groups have made claims that Planned Parenthoods’ sell fetal organs for profit. Since September at least 3 Planned Parenthoods have been vandalized in the United States. Officials have not been able to pin a specific motive for Dear’s attack on Friday.