Black Friday started in horror for the residents of Colorado Springs, Colorado as a mass shooting took the lives of three people. People ran and screamed in horror as a gunman opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood in the downtown area. The shooter, identified as Robert Dear, 57, held police in a six-hour standoff, firing out of a window from the building. Dear later walked out of the building and surrendered to police.
Witnesses stated that Dear had a rifle and fired at people fleeing the scene from an extended distance. The shooter engaged in a gun battle with police that left one officer and two civilians dead. In addition, four civilians and five police officers were transported to the hospital. The shooter was said to have carried bags into the building and police were fearful that the man had an explosive device. Because of this threat, officers held their fire while the gunman took shots from the building. The police issued an active shooter alert and told residents to shelter in place during a busy shopping time at the nearby strip mall.
Vicki Cowart, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains stated, “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. 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.”