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Photo: Colorado Springs Police Department

Planned Parenthood shooting suspect caught on video as standoff unfolded

The man accused of killing three people, including university police officer Garrett Swasey, in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs Friday was captured on security cameras as the standoff occurred, an official revealed.

Thanks to the indoor security cameras in the center, which officers were able to monitor from a control center, the death toll number was not any higher, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said, according to NBC News.

The footage showed the suspected shooter, identified by Colorado Springs Police as 57-year-old Robert Dear, entering the clinic Friday. He proceeded to engage in a standoff with police that lasted for hours, authorities said. Shots were fired at 11:38 a.m. and Dear was taken into custody at 4:52 p.m., ABC News reported.

Suthers watched the “incredibly dramatic” situation unfold through the security camera feed from inside the clinic. “For the last hour he stayed in a stationary position and they could tell where he was,” Suthers said. “They were communicating that to the officers, the SWAT team officers that were in there. In fact, they were emailing diagrams of the building with marks where the suspect was.

“They were setting up for a possible intrusion by heavy equipment that could cut him off in a certain way that would trap him,” he added. “But they were also, importantly, able to say that people in rooms that were far away from him could be extricated from the building, and that is in fact what happened.

“Just as they were getting ready to bring this to a resolution, he started yelling that he was willing to give up. And we watched that happen on these security cameras,” Suthers said.

The standoff ended when police entered the clinic and started yelling at the suspect, Colorado Springs Lt. Catherine Buckley said. The officers were able to get him to surrender and take him into custody, ABC reported.

Police have yet to say what the shooter’s motive was or if Planned Parenthood was the target all along. However, Suthers said that police “can speculate.”

“It happened at a Planned Parenthood center…my suspicions are that has a lot to do with the motive,” Suthers said.

Three were killed–two of which have not been identified–and nine other people were injured.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards released the following statement: “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. 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.”

Dear was being held on no bond as he waited for his first court appearance, which is scheduled for Monday, according to ABC.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer
Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as Natmonitor.com, CheekyChicago.com and FamilyFocusBlog.com. Contact Meredith: meredith.rodefer@youthindependent.com