A father of two is dead and a man is behind bars after allegedly bursting into a Colorado women's health clinic and opening fire on Friday.
University of Colorado Police Officer Garrett Swasey responded to calls from a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood after authorities say Robert L. Dear laid siege to the building armed with an AK-47 style rifle and remained holed up in the clinic for several hours in a tense standoff with police.
Three people were killed, including Swasey, by the time Dear was led away in handcuffs by police and making remarks to authorities about "baby parts."
Swasey, 44, was a father of a 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, as well as an active member of his church.
“Here’s a guy who worked full time as a police officer, and then gave a great amount of time to his local church and didn’t get a dime for it,” Pastor Scott Dontanville told the New York Times. "He did it because it was the thing that he felt he needed to do.
Five police officers were wounded in the attack at Planned Parenthood, which offers healthcare services to women, including abortions. Nine people were wounded in total.
Authorities would not say was not clear if anti-abortion ideology was behind the shooting, nor did police say if the Planned Parenthood was the scene of the attack for any specific reason.
However, officials have revealed to NBC News that Dear told them "no more baby parts" duing an interrogation. They also say he made comments about President Obama.
Dear allegedly held the clinic hostage for some five hours during which he made no attempt to communicate to officers outside the building, who could hear intermittent gunfire inside. Swasey also shot at cops from inside the building.
"Certainly it could have been much, much worse if it were not for the heroism of our police officers to corner the person in the building," Colorado Springs Fire Chief Chris Riley told the AP.
Few details were immediately known on the civilians killed in the attack. The nine wounded people were hospitalized and in good condition.
Dear, 57, is from North Carolina, according to the AP. It was unclear if he had any connection to Planned Parenthood. Witnesses described him as "calm but crazy."
Witness Kentanya Craio told NBC News that Dear was "mumbling and ranting while he was shooting."
Kentanya, like others who were inside the clinic, survived by barricading herself in a room. Several people were also able to escape, including through a hole police smashed in the wall using a vehicle.
Dear is due to appear in court on Monday.