COLORADO SPRINGS — A man wearing hunting gear and armed with a long gun was barricaded inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs Friday after repeatedly opening fire on police, injuring four officers and an unknown number of civilians, police said.
Police said Friday afternoon that they were still trying determine exactly where the gunman was holed up inside the building.
"We don't have the suspect yet, and we still consider this an active situation," said Lt. Catherine Buckley, spokesperson for the Colorado Spring Police Department.
Buckley confirmed that four officers were wounded, but did not give details on their condition. She also said an unknown number of civilians had been injured. She said the primary task of officers was to locate the gunman and to get medical help to the injured.
Earlier, a law enforcement source told KKTV that one of the officers had been hit in the hand.
During an office to office search, as officers went door to door inside, officers reported automatic gunfire coming from the building.
Buckley said the incident began when police got a call at 11:38 a.m. that a gunman had entered the building. Responding officers, she said, "encountered active gunfire." . Police do not know what connection, if any, the gunman has with Planned Parenthood, she said.
Denise Speller, manager of a nearby haircut salon, said she heard as many as 20 gunshots in the span of less than five minutes, the Associated Press reports.
She told The Gazette that she saw a police cruiser and two officers near a Chase Bank branch, not far from the Planned Parenthood facility.
One of the officers appeared to fall to the ground and the other office knelt down to render aid then tried to get the officer to safety behind the car, she said. Another officer told Speller to seek shelter inside the building.
“We’re still pretty freaked out,” Speller said by phone. “We can’t stop shaking. For now we’re stuck back here not knowing.”
Joan Motolina tells USA TODAY that he was on the phone when the shooting broke out, trapping his sister inside the clinic.
"I have no idea my sister is alive or not," he says.
Over the next hour, police on scene, where snow was falling and temperatures had dropped to 21 degrees, reported to the dispatcher that the gunman was firing at them repeatedly.
"Rounds are coming through the window," said one officer.
Officers described the gunman was wearing a long coat and a hunting-type hat.
One officer told the dispatcher that the gunman shot out the back window of his patrol car as the officer tried to "get a look at him," the newspaper reports.
At another point an officer, speaking to the dispatcher, said, "We have another officer down by the dumpster."
A dispatcher said one person was wounded at Elite Vision, an eye care center near Planned Parenthood on Centennial Blvd, The Gazette reports. The newspaper said one victim was taken by stretcher to an ambulance.
Planned Parenthood is located on Centennial Blvd. less than a half mile west of Interstate 25 in northwest Colorado Springs.
It was the second shooting incident in a month. On Oct. 31, a gunman shot and killed three people near downtown Colorado Springs before he died in a shootout with police.
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