A shooting that took place at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on Friday in the city of Colorado Springs in the US state of Colorado left two civilians and a police officer dead.
Nine other people injured during the attack, including five police officers, are reported to be in good condition in hospitals in the area, Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey told reporters.
The suspect opened fire with a rifle at the clinic and engaged in a gun battle with police before surrendering. The incident lasted five hours, during which a number of people were trapped inside the building.
Police said the suspect’s identity has not been confirmed yet, but believed he acted alone.
Local media sources reported that the shooter was identified as a 57-year-old man named Robert Lewis Dear, each citing an unidentified law enforcement source.
It is not clear if the Planned Parenthood facility, which provides abortions, screening for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy testing and other services, was the main target of the attack or not.
However, it is possible that the attack had an anti-abortion agenda, since abortion is a controversial issue in Colorado.
"We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country," president of the Rocky Mountains chapter of Planned Parenthood, Vicki Cowart said.
On May 31, 2009, George Tiller, a physician from Kansas who was providing late-term abortions was killed by Scott Philip Roeder, an anti-abortion activist.
Another abortion provider Barnett Abba Slepian was also murdered by James Charles Koppo in 1998.