A gunman opened fire outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs early Friday afternoon.
At least 11 people were injured, including 5 police officers. The suspect is in custody after a standoff that lasted more than 5 hours, with the shooter holed up inside the Planned Parenthood clinic.
Around 7 p.m., police released a statement saying they had the man in custody. Colorado Springs has provided a phone line for people who are sheltered in place as a result of the standoff to let their loved ones know that they are safe. They’re asking such people not to call 911 for the time being.
There have been no details released yet on the identity of the shooter, those injured, or the extent of the injuries sustained by the victims. The man opened fire around 2 p.m. with an AK-47 Assault Rifle.
This of course brings up the complexity of gun control in the United States. The hot bed issues of Planned Parenthood and gun control are a source of heated discussions amongst many.
Police are not sure of the man’s motives just yet, and if he were specifically targeting the clinic or not. Planned Parenthood has been a source of debate and scrutiny after false claims of mishandling and illegally selling fetal tissue came about earlier this year. The claims—probably a ploy by pro-life extremists and conservatives to cut government funding—proved to be untrue.
In a statement to ThinkProgress on Friday evening, Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains CEO Vicki Cowart said “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,”
She did however, acknowledge that anti-abortion “extremists” have created a “poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country” and that “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”
Planned Parenthood is a great organization that provides women and men, whom otherwise might not be able to afford care, with services ranging from STD testing , birth control, abortion, family planning and education.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: YouTube still