Police responding to an active shooter scene at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs are concerned that explosives may be involved in the attack, CBS News reports.
The situation is still an active shooting scene, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department. The gunman has apparently barricaded himself inside the clinic and is opening fire on police officers as they approach the building.
According to CBS News justice correspondent Jeff Pegues, law enforcement officials are now expressing concern that there may also be explosives in or around the women’s health clinic.
The gunman reportedly “brought items into the building” with him that could be some sort of explosive devices, Lt. Catherine Buckley of the Colorado Springs Police Department said in a televised press conference. Other reports indicate that the gunman set up propane tanks in the parking lot and is shooting at them to try to cause an explosion.
Both the ATF and the FBI have been called to respond to the scene.
Though it has not yet been confirmed that Planned Parenthood was the target of the attack, police told local station KOAA that the clinic has been the “focal point” of the standoff. The clinic was open at the time of the attack and numerous patients and staff are reported to be trapped in the building with the gunman.
Planned Parenthood clinics have seen a surge in anti-abortion violence and harassment since the release of a series of deceptively-edited videos purporting to show officials with the organization discussing the illegal sale of fetal organs. Though the videos have been thoroughly debunked and repeated investigations have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing, anti-choice extremists have used the occasion to ramp up their attacks on abortion providers.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least four Planned Parenthood clinics were burned down in arson attacks in a span of 74 days following the release of the videos.