Dear Commons Community,
One police officer and two civilians were killed during an attack on a Planned Parenthood Center in Colorado Springs yesterday. The officer who died was Garrett Swasey, 44, a six-year veteran of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs police department.
Nine others — five officers and four civilians — were shot and are in good condition.
The Associated Press and other outlets identified the gunman as Robert Lewis Dear, citing law enforcement sources. The suspect was taken into custody at 4:52 p.m. local time, after officers inside the building convinced him to surrender.
Authorities are not yet sure whether the gunman intentionally targeted Planned Parenthood. This center has been the object of a number of protests over the past several months but Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains released a statement Friday stating:
“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,” the statement continued.
Cecile Richards, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement Friday evening.
“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the brave law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way in Colorado Springs,” Richards said. “We are profoundly grateful for their heroism in helping to protect all women, men and young people as they access basic health care in this country.”