COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The community is mourning the loss of three people shot dead Friday at Planned Parenthood. One police officer and two civilians died after a gunman opened fire at the clinic.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies had been investigating around the clock from a command center set up outside the Planned Parenthood on Centennial Boulevard near Fillmore Street.
People gathered at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Saturday for a vigil. Leaders at the vigil referred to the shooting as a “domestic act of terrorism.”
Members of the community wrote letters to the friends and family of the victims in the deadly shooting.
Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said that the 15 employees who were inside the health center during the shooting helped get patients to safety.
“Today, all of our staff are okay,” said Cowart. “They’re home, they’re safe, they’re with their families … and I know that they’re going to be back.”
Cowart said Planned Parenthood will make repairs to the clinic under attack, and reopen.
“Every single person deserves the right to be free, to have information, and to make their own decisions about health care,” said Cowart.
The church minister, Dr. Nori Rost, offered words on the tragedy.
“We would not be here today without the obscene acts with assault weapons that are weapons of war; that should not be in the hands of civilians,” said Rost.
Not everyone attending the vigil was in support of the timing of anti-gun violence and pro-choice messages.
“I feel lucky that my entire family is alive, and I thought that we were here to grieve and mourn the loss of the people who died … not to make political statements,” said one woman, who stood up and left during the vigil.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Gov. John Hickenlooper honored law enforcement officers for their brave rescues.
“This country is filled with heroes and people who are willing to put their lives at risk to protect their neighbors,” said Hickenlooper.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey said he expects the five officers being treated at a local hospital for gunshot wounds to be released soon.
“They’re doing good,” said Carey. “I am absolutely blessed that more officers weren’t killed yesterday.”
Carey was not able to say whether the two civilians killed were patients inside Planned Parenthood. He said the victims’ identities could be released on Monday after the conclusion of autopsies.