3 killed in shooting at family planning centre in Colorado

WASHINGTON :  At least three persons, including a police officer, were killed and several others injured when a gunman opened fire at a family planning centre in Colorado city in a standoff that dragged on for five hours.
The shooter entered the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last evening and held clinic staff and patients hostage for several hours, according to officials.
During that time, he exchanged gunfire with the police.
The gunman surrendered to the police after more than five six hours of standoff in which nine other persons including five police officers were injured, just a day after millions of Americans celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday.
President Barack Obama was notified about the situation by Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, the White House said.
Officials said they do not know the motive of the shooter yet. “The perpetrator is in custody,” Colorado Spring Mayor John Suthers said at a news conference.
The police said the shooter was armed with a long gun and also brought into the building several “items” that could be explosive devices. The gunman was described as a stocky, bearded white male wearing a trench coat.
The FBI too joined the investigation.
“Our hearts go out to the families of those who were killed and to those who were injured at the scene. We are grateful to law enforcement at all levels who responded to this incident, and to the clinic staff who endured this attack and took quick action to ensure that patients were safe,” said Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation.
“Since a series of highly-edited, misleading anti- abortion videos was released in July, we have seen an unprecedented increase in hate speech and threats against abortion providers. We have been quite worried that this increase in threats would lead to a violent attack like we saw today,” he said.
At least four Planned Parenthood clinics have been targeted for arson since the videos were released.
Concerned Women for America CEO and president Penny Nance said that there is nothing remotely ‘pro-life’ about vigilante violence against another human being.
“We at Concerned Women for America condemn this heinous behavior and are grieving with those impacted. As a pro-life organization, we are against the taking of any innocent life no matter their age. Our prayers are with the police and others in Colorado,” she said. (PTI)