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New York Area Police Increase Patrols Near Planned Parenthood Clinics After Colorado Shooting

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) -- Tri-State Area police departments increased their patrols around Planned Parenthood locations Friday, following a shooting in Colorado Springs that left a police officer and two others dead.

The NYPD said it is stepping up security around Planned Parenthood locations in the city and redeploying critical response vehicles. Suffolk and Nassau county police announced in a news releases that they were also increasing patrols around all Planned Parenthood locations.

Both departments said there have been no specific threats to any local Planned Parenthood locations.

"We're contacting these facilities to gather any intelligence and to observe the way out of the locations," said Suffolk County police Deputy Commissioner Tim Sini.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, a total of 11 people were injured and hospitalized – including five police officers – in the shooting near the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

CBS Denver reported a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer was later pronounced dead in the shooting.

In a statement, university chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak identified the slain officer as Garrett Swasey, 44.

Officer Garrett Swasey
UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey was one of three people killed after a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday, Nov. 27. (Credit: UCCS)

He was a six-year veteran of the department, which Shockley-Zalabak said is comprised of "sworn, state-certified police officers."

"UCCS is working with Officer Swasey's family and continues to support the Colorado Springs Police Department at the shooting scene," Shockley-Zalabak said.

Two civilians were also pronounced dead after the shooting, CBS News confirmed.

CBS News justice correspondent Jeff Pegues reported the suspect had surrendered to police and was in custody as of shortly after 7 p.m. Eastern Time Friday.

But SWAT teams and officers remained on the scene to make sure nothing had been left behind.

The alleged gunman gave himself up because he was surrounded and had nowhere to go, sources said.

A law enforcement source told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton the suspect -- identified as Robert Dear, 57 -- was being interviewed by authorities, including 1st Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Troyer and the local district attorney.

Federal charges including civil rights violations are being considered as well as other federal and state charges, the source told Milton.

As 1010 WINS' Holli Haerr reported, Joan Malin, the president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood in New York City, said the Colorado Springs standoff and shooting was tragic.

In a written statement, Malin said the top priority for Planned Parenthood in New York is "the safety of patients and staff."

She wrote that Planned Parenthood in New York "shares the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating an environment that feeds into domestic terrorism in this country."

Planned Parenthood has five locations in New York City, all of which are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Meanwhile in a show of support late Friday, an emergency vigil was held in Union Square. Supporters of abortion rights held signs and walked up and down in the south end of the square to speak out against the shootings.

Authorities received a call of shots being fired near the Planned Parenthood clinic before 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Buckley said that the initial information police received was that the shooter was armed with a "long gun."

Law enforcement sources said the suspect started shooting in the parking lot before moving into the facility, which was guarded by security.

The bulletproof windows at the building proved to be a challenge for police.

Police said the suspect also "brought several items with him" into the Planned Parenthood building that needed to be checked, but it was unclear what the items were.

Businesses in the area immediately went on lockdown. Even as police slowly evacuated the clinic, the standoff and shootout lasted for hours.

"We did get officers inside of the building at the Planned Parenthood. And the officers were able to shout to the suspect and make communication with him," Buckley said. A"nd at that point, they were able to get him to surrender and take him into custody."

Joan Motolinia's sister was inside the clinic at the time for an appointment. He rushed to the Planned Parenthood facility after hearing gunshots, CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported.

"I was talking to my sister over the phone and she couldn't really talk, and I heard that somebody was shooting," Motolinia said.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said the organization didn't know whether its clinic was the target of the attack.

"We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country," the statement said. "We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust."

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the loss of life could have been far worse had it not been for the "brave responding officers," CBS affiliate KKTV-TV, Colorado Springs reported.

"This is a terrible, terrible tragedy that happened today in Colorado Springs," he was quoted by the station.

The Planned Parenthood is located in a building next to a building that houses several medical offices. The strip mall with the King Soopers grocery store is less than a half-mile away and police shut down the road where the shops are located.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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