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THE SITUATION ROOM
Interview With Texas Congressman Will Hurd; Active Shooter Situation in Colorado. Aired 18-19:00p ET
Aired November 27, 2015 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, we have breaking news.
An active shooter, this is a gunman in a Planned Parenthood office, is exchanging fire with police. There are multiple people injured. This includes police officers and you have people in nearby businesses who are being ordered to shelter in place.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: We are following this breaking news, an active shooter inside of a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado. We are standing by for a news conference by police who have been updating us periodically here.
They say at lease at this point four officers have been injured. Hospitals are telling us have they received at least nine patients and all of this is happening right now along one of the main streets there in Colorado Springs. It's an area that's full of stores and businesses, and people are inside, as they have been for hours, holed up, being told to shelter in place by police.
We're covering all of the angles of this breaking news story this hour with our guests. That include Congressman Will Hurd of Texas, a member of the Homeland Security Committee. We also have our correspondents and our expert analysts who are also standing by.
I want to go now to get the latest on this breaking news from CNN national correspondent Kyung Lah.
Kyung, tell us what you are finding out.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're now into the fourth hour of this very active situation.
What we do know from the police is that they are dealing with an unpredictable and very dangerous gunman. They say that they have eyeballs on him. They know that he is inside the Planned Parenthood building, and that they are pulling people out one by one, small groups.
We have seen them come out without their coats, some of them wearing medical scrubs. This is certainly something that is continuing to unfold. The police department says that they have exchanged gunfire with this suspect. A man is the best description that we have from the police department as of yet.
Four officers have been wounded. A total of at least nine have been transported to local hospitals. I say at least nine because that number has continued to tick upward throughout all of this. Now, we have spoken to witnesses in about a dozen of the local businesses, not all those businesses, but there are about a dozen businesses right around the Planned Parenthood.
This all began to unfold at about the noon hour, the lunch hour. This is Black Friday, a lot of people out, people at the grocery stores. They're getting their hair done. They are at the various restaurants. Some of those witnesses describe hearing as many as 10 to 20 shots. They weren't exactly sure where it came from. They are estimating.
Again, these are early witness reports estimating that it may have come from outside the Planned Parenthood center. They just aren't sure. What we do know is that this eventually moved inside the Planned Parenthood center, the police being very methodical, being very careful, because...
KEILAR: All right, Kyung, I'm so sorry to interrupt you. That press conference actually beginning with the Colorado Springs police. Here it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can we go back up on the curb? Let's go up on the curb, folks.
KEILAR: All right. This is a press conference that is just beginning, which we're expecting from Catherine Buckley, who has been updating us periodically from the Colorado Springs Police Department. Obviously, the number of press there has been growing throughout the hours since this happened.
She's have been coming out whenever she has now information and we're hoping to find out certainly where this situation is. The last time she spoke to members of the media, there had been -- the shooting was active and there had been shots fired a minute she said before she came out to update reporters and let's listen as she begins.
LT. CATHERINE BUCKLEY, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you.
BUCKLEY: OK. Are you guys ready? Is everybody ready?
[18:05:00] OK, Lieutenant Catherine Buckley, with the Colorado Springs
Police Department. I have to my right here Jacqueline Kirby, with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
At this point, this is still an active scene. We have been in contact with a suspect inside the building. The suspect has fired upon our officers inside the building, and we are still working through the process of that at this time.
As part of that, we have been evacuating people out of the Planned Parenthood building and we have evacuated numerous people out of the Planned Parenthood building. We do know that we have four officers that have been injured.
There's a possibility that there is a fifth officer at this time, but I have been unable to confirm that. There are an unknown amount of casualties at this point. We know that this scene is going to be going on for the next several hours because there are items that the suspect took with him to the Planned Parenthood building that we have to check out once the scene is stabilized.
This is not a stabilized scene at this time. Therefore, we are waiting until we get a stabilized scene, so that we can move additional resources up and check out the items that the individual brought to him at the Planned Parenthood building.
QUESTION: When you say, Catherine, you don't know -- you're not saying the number of casualties?
BUCKLEY: I do not know if we have casualties. I do not know how many people were transported at this point. We are trying to gather that information.
QUESTION: Did this incident start at the Planned Parenthood or somewhere else?
BUCKLEY: This incident did start at the Planned Parenthood building. We have had several questions if this involved the bank which is just to the south of the Planned Parenthood building.
We did have victims that left the Planned Parenthood building and made their way to the bank. So there were some individuals that were at the bank, but, to our knowledge, this individual was at the Planned Parenthood building and not had gone into any other businesses at this point.
BUCKLEY: Hold on. I can answer one question at a time.
QUESTION: Do you just have one suspect and are there people around you might be looking at as well?
BUCKLEY: At this point, we have one suspect. Obviously, in type of investigations like this, we always look for any type of additional suspects. One of the things that I have seen on social media is that there
are people that are posting names of a suspect. We have not even confirmed the name of the suspect. We haven't even confirmed who the suspect is at this point. We know that we're in contact with him because he has shot at our officers and that's the only thing that we can confirm at this point.
QUESTION: Are there any other hostages inside (OFF-MIKE)
BUCKLEY: We are in the process of evacuating everybody else out of the Planned Parenthood building at this time.
QUESTION: How long has it been since shots have been fired?
BUCKLEY: Actually, just recently, we have had shots fired.
One at a time, please. You next.
QUESTION: Do we know where he is?
QUESTION: In the building.
BUCKLEY: We are working through that at this point.
QUESTION: Does he have hostages near him in close proximity?
BUCKLEY: I can't confirm whether he does at this point, or not.
BUCKLEY: We have not been in voice contact with the suspect.
QUESTION: And he is in the Planned Parenthood building?
BUCKLEY: Yes, he is in the Planned Parenthood building.
QUESTION: You are evacuating people or trying to get people out of the building. Are you certain that you're able to reach all the people in the building? Have you identified where everyone is at?
BUCKLEY: We are working with the staff from Planned Parenthood to make sure that we have identified where people are at in the building and to get them out safely. We have done so with several of the people. They have been brought over to the VA hospital, which is just to the south, where they are meeting with detectives from the sheriff's office, the police department and our federal partners.
QUESTION: Can you clarify, are there other offices, other medical officers in that same building?
BUCKLEY: I am not -- I do not know. That's something I don't know.
QUESTION: Do you know how many people were in the building?
BUCKLEY: I don't know at this point. Andy.
QUESTION: What about the people in the King Soopers? Are they going to be allowed out any time soon?
BUCKLEY: At this point, until we have this individual and the situation is completely stabilized, it is not safe for us for us to move anybody out of other buildings in the proximity of the Planned Parenthood building.
So, they're somewhere safe and stable. We're going to leave them there.
Go ahead, Steve.
QUESTION: You need to stabilize the situation even after you get this guy and bring him out. Would you characterize what he brought with him, explosive devices or (OFF-MIKE)
BUCKLEY: Until we get our teams up there to active -- until we get up there to check out those items and ensure what they are, we can't say what they are. We just know that he has brought items to the building with him.
And before we let anybody else in there, before we conduct our investigation, we have to make sure that those are not some type of a device or anything like that.
QUESTION: Do you know -- do you have an unknown number of those civilian casualties inside the Planned Parenthood building? If so, do you...
BUCKLEY: I can't speak to what we have inside the Planned Parenthood at this time, other than the fact we have been working to actively evacuate people from the building.
QUESTION: How many personnel do you have involved with this as far as law enforcement? Hundreds? Dozens? Can you give us an idea?
BUCKLEY: Excuse me just a minute.
So, as far as the personnel here on scene, unfortunately, I don't have a count. I know that we do have the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the Colorado Springs Police Department. We have officers from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. We have federal agencies here, including the FBI and the ATF, to assist us.
We have the Colorado Bureau of Investigations that has come down to assist us once we get to the point that we can actually do and go through these scenes and collect evidence and process the scenes. So we have agencies from across the region helping us. QUESTION: What's it like for you guys today, you know,
responding to this, knowing your own officers are injured and this isn't over yet?
BUCKLEY: You know, the first thing is our concern as officers is that public is safe.
And that's what we're working very diligently is to ensure that the public is safe from here on out. The situation right now is contained within the Planned Parenthood building. But, you know, there's obviously a concern because it does involve our fellow officers.
But we still have a job that we to do. And that's what we're doing, is, we are doing our job and we're trying to ensure that the public is safe and everything's handled correctly. There was a question in the back. I'm sorry, sir.
BUCKLEY: The nature of the devices, at this point, we don't know. Some of them are in...
QUESTION: They aren't devices, though?
BUCKLEY: We don't know what they are. We know that the suspect brought several items with him. And some of those are inside the Planned Parenthood building. Some of those are out front of it.
QUESTION: Do you want to check them to make sure they're...
BUCKLEY: We have to check them to make sure that they're not any type of improvised device and that our people are safe going in there in order to process the scene.
QUESTION: Let's talk about sort of the nature of the hostage negotiation. You are or aren't in contact? And if you aren't, when will you be in contact?
BUCKLEY: We are not in voice contact with him at this point. And that's something that we will work through with our teams in order to establish that.
QUESTION: How does that work?
BUCKLEY: Well, specifically, we try to get in contact with him, but we don't have a means at this point.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) a hostage situation?
BUCKLEY: No, he's saying -- he's asking if we're in contact with the individual that is in the building that is a suspect. And we're not.
QUESTION: Is there a hostage situation?
BUCKLEY: To our knowledge, at this point, we are still trying to evacuate anyone else inside the Planned Parenthood building.
QUESTION: Have any officers passed away at this point?
BUCKLEY: I don't have information on that.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) automatic weapon at some sort? Are your SWAT guys saying (INAUDIBLE) AK-47, anything like a description of a weapon that he's using?
BUCKLEY: The original information that we received on the original call for service is that it was some type of a long gun. And that's the information that we have at this point.
Until we actually get in there, and we get in the room with the suspect and figure out what he has, it's difficult to say.
A point of clarification because I know that this is going nationally is that here in Colorado, this last year, there was a law established through our legislature that bifurcates the investigation process for any type of officer-involved shooting situation.
Because the Colorado Springs Police Department officers here on scene have the probability that they were involved in gunfire with this suspect, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office will be taking over that portion of the investigation involving the officers.
The Colorado Springs Police Department will remain with the investigation of the suspect as well as any individuals that have been hurt here on scene. OK?
QUESTION: Has that suspect had contact with anyone who is still inside the building that you know of?
BUCKLEY: I do not know of that.
QUESTION: Can you tell us -- you had mentioned earlier the initial response was to the Planned Parenthood. It's now happening in the Planned Parenthood. And this person brought devices with him.
BUCKLEY: This person brought items with him that we have to make sure are not any type of devices.
QUESTION: But can you talk about him bringing devices and this all stemming from the Planned Parenthood? Would you say that they were targeted or talk about the involvement with Planned Parenthood?
BUCKLEY: Since this is still active, it would be premature to speculate about what this individual's motive, what this individual's ideas were or why he chose this building. Until we get this checked out, we can't tell. He did bring some bags with him into the building.
QUESTION: Were doctors or staffers on site? And was anyone having... BUCKLEY: And this was an active, open day for the Planned
Parenthood. And there were people inside of the building, including staff and individuals, patients with appointments.
QUESTION: Have you had any contact with anybody inside the building aside from the suspect?
BUCKLEY: We have evacuated numerous people out of the building.
QUESTION: What about propane tanks? We heard something about somebody trying to shoot propane tanks.
BUCKLEY: Those are some of the items that we have to look at that were brought to the facility to see what they are and ensure that everyone is safe.
QUESTION: Are you speaking -- are you speaking with the suspect's relatives, anyone who might know him?
BUCKLEY: We have not even identified the suspect at this point.
There has been some information that has been put out on social media that X-person or Y-person is a suspect. We can't confirm that at this point.
So, OK, that's it. The next briefing, we will probably set for 5:00. I'm trying to work, because it looks like the weather is not going to cooperate with us. We will probably work to see if we can go to an indoor facility, which would be away from here.
But I will let you guys know as we go along. OK?
QUESTION: Thanks, Lieutenant Buckley.
BUCKLEY: You bet.
KEILAR: All right.
That was Lieutenant Catherine Buckley with the Colorado Springs Police Department updating us.
Learning some new information here this hour.
And I want to bring in the panel to discuss this.
We have CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander. We have criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson. We also have former assistant director of the U.S. Marshals Office and CNN law enforcement analyst Arthur Roderick. And we have former CIA and CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer.
OK, so, Art, to you first. I think we are getting a better picture here of what happened and why there was confusion about where these shots were coming from. She said this started in the Planned Parenthood building and then she said some of the victims were leaving the Planned Parenthood building heading for the bank, which is I think about a quarter-mile away. So what does that tell you, that he was...
ARTHUR RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That he was firing at them. He was actually shooting at these people, you know, trying to get away from the Planned Parenthood building, which makes a lot of sense now when we hear the initial call, about how some people thought there was possibly a bank robbery going on at Chase Bank, and nobody could figure where the shots were coming from.
Obviously, those people that left Planned Parenthood knew where the shoots were coming from, because they were being fired at by this individual.
KEILAR: All right.
And, Bob, so this is -- when you listen to Lieutenant Buckley here, something that struck me, she was asked, you know, could there be a hostage situation, and she said we're still trying -- she stuck to this. She said we're still trying to evacuate people from the Planned Parenthood building. What does that tell you?
BOB BAER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I would think there is a hostage involved, Brianna, or they certainly don't know for sure. They cannot take that -- an action against this guy, go in and kill him if there's hostages there. It's just too dangerous. They can't sacrifice.
But what struck me was her references to possible IEDs, that he's carried explosives in with him or something improvised, which would make it infinitely more dangerous, because these are so unstable, these homemade explosives. And they have to check that out as well.
He could take down the whole building with that. Again, they are in the intelligence collecting phase. They're trying to find out who is in the office, who's in the building, who he could possibly have with him, who is injured, and the rest of it.
And, unfortunately, this just takes an enormous amount of time when you are going to do a takedown like this to collect all that, so that no innocent people are killed.
KEILAR: All right, Bob, Art, Cedric, Joey, stay with me. We will talk more after a break.
I do want to just reset this for our viewers. This is an active shooting situation at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We just learned a couple minutes ago that there had been shots exchanged between police officers and what they believe is one gunman they have identified inside of the clinic. The entire area, the shopping area around this clinic under lockdown, and we expect that it will be for some time.
The officers are not in voice contact with this shooter, but they are also very concerned about some items that he brought, bags that he brought to the clinic that could include propane tanks. We're learning a lot of new information and we will take a break and we will update you in just a moment.
KEILAR: We are following some breaking news out of Colorado.
An active shooter is outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs exchanging fire with police really just in the last several minutes, as we understand it from police there. There are at least four officers who are injured. The possibility of a fifth, we just learned that, and hospitals say they have received nine patients so far.
Police just revealed that this incident did indeed start right there at the Planned Parenthood office. They say that the gunman who they have not been able to identify yet took items, they said bags, perhaps propane tanks inside with him and that there is concern that they could be explosive devices.
I want to get now to CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown. She has more.
And, Pamela, federal law enforcement now involved in this.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
I'm just getting off the phone with one official, Brianna. And what really strikes people about what is unfolding here is it appears this suspect, this gunman had a level of training and planning that went into place. And the big concern is not only the fact that he's armed with weapons and clearly a lot of ammunition to keep this going for at least four hours, but that there could be other items he has with him, including, as the public information officer said on the ground, possibly some type of propane tank she talked about when she was asked about it.
That's something she said, we're going to have to look into this. So, that just raises the threat level even more, whether or not this individual could be planning to set off explosives. So there is a lot of concern and a lot of unknowns. We heard that there were hostages that were evacuated from that building, Brianna.
We know that investigators are speaking with them, trying to gain more information about what unfolded inside that Planned Parenthood building. Also, the FBI has a SWAT team that is on standby. And it's a good thing, because the SWAT team that's in there right now with the police department could very well have a lot of fatigue after being in there for so many hours. So what could happen is the FBI SWAT team would then move in to take over and let the other team rest, or perhaps provide some backup for the SWAT team that's already in there.
They're going to want to look at blueprints, get the lay of the land of that building before moving in there, but clearly a very active situation, a standoff still on going last we heard, Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Pamela Brown for us, thank you so much.
Again, this is the breaking news that we are following, an active shooter at this Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs. The entire neighborhood there, a grocery store, really a dozen businesses are on lockdown. The people shopping or who were getting their hair done, they are all sheltering in place and they have been doing this for hours at this point.
I want to go now to Aaron Gardner. He's a witness there. He actually works for a couple of online news organizations.
And, Aaron, just give us a sense of the scene where you are. I see that there are a number of ambulances. What have you seen happening here in the last moments?
AARON GARDNER, WITNESS: Well, in the last moments, as you guys discussed, the police officers did a small press release and talked about the different items that the shooter brought into the Planned Parenthood.
Before the shooting occurred, what I was actually doing was, I was coming home from the King Soopers and heard the news, started breaking on Twitter.
I pulled over and turned around and tried to make my way back, and found that I couldn't make may way through the roads. And I went up into the mountains a little bit to see what I could see. That's when I heard the lone shot ring out, which I had suspected was a high- powered rifle of some sort due to the loudness of it in the snow and everything.
After that, I circled back around and made it up here to Fillmore and Centennial, right where the King Soopers is. And you can see behind me the large building in the distance just to the -- my left, my right, your left. That's where the Planned Parenthood is. There's about a distance of about 600 yards between the bank building and the King Soopers and the Planned Parenthood.
KEILAR: Aaron, tell us, what is the concern there from people on the ground?
GARDNER: Well, the concern right now is the length of the standoff that's been going on, the fact that the police department is probably beginning to get tired.
And, of course, the length of the standoff means that the shooter is running out of options as well.
GARDNER: The fact that the ATF and FBI are on the scene and they're talking about tactical situations, I think that brings a little bit of comfort to the people in the neighborhood who live here and want to see this resolved quickly. KEILAR: All right, Aaron, thank you so much for that update
there on the ground talking with us from Colorado Springs.
Just to update the viewers, this is -- we're just learning this is an active shooting. There were recently shots exchanged between this shooter, a lone gunman, as we understand it, and police officers inside of the building and all of this we just learned started there in the Planned Parenthood building.
We heard from Colorado Springs police that some victims were heading away from this clinic toward a bank that was about a quarter- mile away and that they were shot at as they tried to essentially escape, to run away and try to take shelter in this bank.
At this point, we're hearing from police as well unknown casualties. We know that nine people have gone to hospitals, four officers injured at this point, perhaps a fifth. That's also something that we just learned.
We're going to continue talking to authorities. We have a number of reporters and analysts who are talking to sources. We're going to get you some new information.
And we will be back in a moment.
KEILAR: ... authorities. We have a number of reporters and analysts who are talking to sources.
[18:30:02] We're going to get to some new information. And we'll be back in a moment.
KEILAR: We have some breaking news this hour, an active shooter inside of a Planned Parenthood clinic there in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hospitals say that they've received at least nine patients at this point. Police say that four officers have been injured and possibly a fifth. They say that the gunman has not yet been identified. They are not in voice contact with him.
And also, he took items inside with him, and they have concerns that some of them could be explosive devices.
[18:35:18] I want to bring in CNN national correspondent Kyung Lah. She has been following the story, calling sources. Give us the latest, Kyung.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have to underscore how dangerous the situation is. Not only are police dealing with an unpredictable suspect who has a long gun on him, those items -- and that's the word that the lieutenant used -- those items have got to be a big concern.
They have a building with some people in it. They're still in the process of evacuating, and very recently police engaged this gunman, and he fired back.
So it's very concerning for law enforcement. They've got to make sure this populated area that all these people remain safe, and that's why everyone in those dozen businesses or so, the grocery store, the hair salon, the eye clinic, all of them have to stay in place.
The city is setting up a way for these relatives to find out if their shopping -- their friends who are in those shopping centers, if they're doing OK. All that is being set up by the city.
Meanwhile, they still have a very dangerous situation on their hands. What we have seen very recently is that they are continuing to pull people out of Planned Parenthood. You noted Brianna, that a lot of them aren't wearing jackets, because that is how urgently they're being pulled out by the police all the while, law enforcement has got to make sure that they remain safe from this armed, unpredictable gunman, Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Kyung Lah. Thank you so much for that update. We'll be checking back in with you.
I do want to bring in our experts again so that we can look at these rapidly-changing facts. We have Art Roderick. We have Bob Baer. We have Cedric Alexander and Joey Jackson, who is our legal analyst.
And I want to ask you about this, Joey, because this could really be an issue. We know the FBI is there, CBI, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations there. Obviously, they're trying to be at the ready to investigate what is happening here. Is this an issue of federal jurisdiction?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I don't think we'll see that. I really don't, Brianna. I think, more importantly now, is they're looking to get to the root causes of the issue.
You do have sometimes with this territorial fight, I think the federal government is there to provide support and assistance. And I think that's one thing that the community can be uplifted and assured by, and that is that there seems to be a mass coordination here.
You have the federal government, whether it's the FBI, the ATF working in congestion with the local authorities, the state authorities. And the objective is not really to, you know, to decide or bicker over who takes it or who gets it.
The objective is to secure that area, to contain that environment, to make sure the community is safe, to ensure that no other law enforcement officers are harmed, and certainly, that civilians are harmed, and to worry about tomorrow. And the next day, ultimately, if there is a prosecution who's going to take control.
But certainly, it's local is that when you want to put the matter to bed, you bring in the best minds. You bring in the best people. That's what they have here, and that should give the community reassurance, Brianna. KEILAR: I want to bring in CNN law enforcement Cedric Alexander
for this next question. This was, I thought, an interesting point that was made, this idea that Pamela Brown brought up, Cedric.
You have a police SWAT team that is in, not in vocal contact as we understand, not in voice contact, but they've been exchanging gunfire with this one gunman. The FBI SWAT team is standing by.
So how does this work, also, especially, you know, this happened in the noon hour. It's now 4:38 Mountain Time there, so you can imagine that these SWAT team members are certainly becoming fatigued. Will they need to be relieved?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, that's a great observation that has been made. Absolutely they will be. There are going to be a number of SWAT teams probably on the scene. What you're going to see is that they're going to maneuver teams in and bring in new, fresh legs over a period of time and allow those SWAT officers to rest. But they'll have more than -- more than the help they really need in order to make those exchanges.
The part for the bad guy is he's going to tire down over time, but we're going to keep those -- they're going to keep the teams very fresh on the ground there so that they can relieve other SWAT team members so they can rest.
The other concern I have here, as well, too, Brianna, is that we're getting ready to move into the night hour. And what we don't want to happen is make sure that we maintain and contain that subject where he is and secure him, because we do not want him moving up under the cloak of darkness. So as the sun begin to set there, that is going to be a concern, as well, too, I'm quite sure, to those that are commanding that operation.
KEILAR: So Bob, considering that, that this could be an issue as night falls here, and also I think the fact that at this point you don't even have police officers who are in voice contact with this shooter? What are their options here in the hours ahead?
[18:40:17] BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Brianna, I would imagine at this point they're still assessing who the shooter is.
There's a couple things that I don't like about it, and one is he engaged police officers. That shows some professionalism on his part, some sort of training. And what really disturbing me is the propane tanks.
If you take a booster charge and wrap them around those tanks and put them near you with a detonator, you can take that whole building down. This is a typical terrorist item.
And in our embassy in Beirut, I know, was taken down by propane tanks and explosives, military explosives. So, you know, if those reports are true about the propane tanks, I find that very disturbing. This guy is trained in some sort of, I just can't tell you what.
We can only speculate at this point. But it's -- that's not a surprise to me, the police are not moving in at a very rapid rate. They really have to see what they have on their hands.
KEILAR: What do you think about that, Art, especially what we know about this gunman's skill set is that it appears that he has a long gun. It's possibly a sniper rifle. He was shooting. Some of the victims were running away from the clinic towards the bank when he shot them.
RODERICK: Which is a quarter of a mile away.
RODERICK: To me it sounds like he's got a scope on whenever weapon he's got. It shows he's got several different weapons there. If he's engaging the police there in the building, then very likely, he's also got some handguns, maybe some other long weapons.
The thing that intrigues me is this press conference, this latest press conference, the lieutenant did not say that they exchanged gunfire. She said they were shooting at us, which leads me to believe -- in the previous press conference she said exchange, which led me to believe there possibly is no hostages. But now with this, where she was a lot more specific and said that he fired at them at law enforcement, there could be a situation here where they know they have a hostage situation.
KEILAR: And that's intriguing, so because when asked if there are hostages, we sort of got the "I'm not sure." She didn't say, "I can't confirm that," but she did say that we're -- she stuck to this repeatedly: "We're still trying to evacuate everyone from the building."
Does that tell you that sort of parsing of words...
RODERICK: Yes, yes, and not only that but we saw some people coming out of the SWAT truck that looked like they had come from the clinic and, obviously, they're going to be key pieces of information to tell them who's left in the building and who's accounted for, who's not accounted for, and where they believe the individual is actually located.
I think the SWAT team setting up in the restaurant was a key part, because obviously, there's a line of sight between that restaurant. And hopefully, they can get an external shot into the building to take out the -- take out the individual.
KEILAR: What is the option besides that?
RODERICK: They would have to storm the building but again, as was mentioned earlier, the propane tanks are very disturbing.
KEILAR: Very disturbing indeed. OK. We are following this. It is an active shooting situation
in Colorado Springs that's now been going on for hours. And we understand that recently -- that's what we were told by the Colorado Springs Police Department spokeswoman -- that it was just recently that this gunman, one gunman they think, was shooting at police officers inside of this Planned Parenthood clinic there along a main street, really, in Colorado Springs.
This entire neighborhood is on lockdown. Soon night is going to fall, and at this point, there is a stand-off going on between this gunman and between police officers there in the building. Nine people have been taken to hospitals. Four police officers are at this point injured, and there's a possibility of a fifth. We are monitoring this situation. We're getting new information, really, just by the minute. And we will bring that to you in just a moment.
[18:48:38] KEILAR: We are following breaking news out of Colorado Springs.
Police were exchanging gunfire with an active shooter inside of a Planned Parenthood clinic. We understand that that shooter has been firing on police very recently. At this point, we know four police officers have been injured. There is the possibility of a fifth. That's what Colorado Springs PD is telling us and nine patient haves been transported to nearby hospitals.
We want to take a closer look now where all of this is playing out and CNN's Tom Foreman has been mapping this out for us.
So, what can you show us, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can see one thing there, Bri. It is getting dark. The sun just went down. It will soon be completely dark, especially with that snow cover.
Take a look at this. This is the area we're talking about. Police had this entire road closed as part of the safety measures involved there. That gives you an idea how much they are concerned about the scope of what they are dealing with here.
Remember, they just said a short while ago, they can't let people out of these businesses down here. We now have proven that it really is about this. This is a quarter mile away. So, if they are worried about somebody with some kind of device, we don't know what those are, with some sort of a rifle which would reach a long way, long gun.
That means they are concerned about people here, all of these neighborhoods, over here, neighborhoods over here and, of course, when you move in closer -- the other businesses that are nearby.
[18:50:01] This is all based in medical care. This is Planned Parenthood right down in this area right here. And this is the main entrance over here where the focus seems to be. This is a retirement center of some sort over here. This is another medical facility. So, the bottom line, Brianna, is when they talk about somebody
with a rifle, they talk about the possibility of some devices, even though they are talking as if it's basically contained here right now, the possibility of it going beyond there seems to be why they are focusing so much on saying we can't let people move yet. It's been a long afternoon. But no need to rush to something that would be dangerous, especially now as it's getting dark and harder to see anything that is going on outside of this facility.
KEILAR: Tom Foreman, thank you so much for explaining that to us. I appreciate it.
And we want to talk about this breaking news with Republican Congressman Will Hurd of Texas. He's a member of the Homeland Security Committee.
Congressman, thanks so much for being with us.
And I wonder now that we're learning from the police there on the scene that this began at the Planned Parenthood clinic. It remains at the Planned Parenthood clinic. The shooter was shooting at people trying to run away from the clinic and trying to get cover at a nearby bank.
Do you get the sense that Planned Parenthood is being targeted here? Do you think it's too premature to jump to that conclusion?
REP. WILL HURD (R-TX), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: I think it's too premature to make those kinds of decisions. You know, right now, we should be worried about the families of those people that maybe are still in the facilities, or that are not allowed to leave some of the other businesses around the location where the active situation.
And we also got to be careful not to share too much information about what's going on because I'm sure the person in the clinic has access to television, social media and may be watching and getting intel from those talking about this outside, and that may help him make a move.
So, I think this is a time when we should let the folks on the ground do their job and I think once this gets all resolved, we'll be able to figure out this individual's intentions.
KEILAR: How much do you think authorities will be looking at whether this is a domestic terrorism incident?
HURD: Well, you always look at the motivations of someone doing this and, you know, law enforcement that's on the ground right now, their first situation is to resolve it, get this person in custody, make sure we protect as many lives as we possibly can and after this is over, figuring out what happened, why did it happen and were there things that we can learn from this situation to help prevent it from happening in the future?
KEILAR: Are you worried that other Planned Parenthoods may be at risk? For instance, we're learning here at CNN from just calling around to Boston, New York City, Suffolk County, New York, that patrols have been increased in and around these Planned Parenthood clinics in the area.
HURD: I think that's a natural reaction because we don't have information right now of the motivations of this individual and so people are looking at the little bit of information that they do have and can you increase protection around those things. But I think it's too early to determine whether this is a copycat that is happening from this or other individuals are looking to do the same thing.
KEILAR: What do you think the role of the federal government should be in be an incident like this?
HURD: Well, I think what they are doing now. The folks on the ground are making the decisions if they need resources of FBI SWAT team. I know FBI is on the scene willing to help. If there are any tools that the FBI has access to, to learn more about these situations, learning information about this individual if we have details on who it is, or the folks that may be in there.
So, this is all the kind of information. But I think the federal government can be helping the local law enforcement in control of the situation.
KEILAR: All right. Congressman, thanks so much for talking to us. We certainly appreciate it.
For a final thought, I want to bring in Art Roderick, our CNN law enforcement analyst.
What is the question that you have at this point now that they haven't been invoice contact with this shooter?
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's very unusual. I mean, obviously, I think he came to have this thing stretched out with the amount of ammunition that he brought in. But I also think that containment, if there could be a silver lining in this particular incident, we haven't contained inside that building right now which is going to be key.
Not only are they fighting this individual, but it was 17 degrees when the sun was out. You know, they are going to have to start relieving the SWAT officers. The adrenaline rush can tire you out very quickly, and, of course, you burn a tone of calories trying to stay warm in this particular weather.
[18:55:03] And with nightfall coming on, that's going to be a key part, too.
KEILAR: They are certainly in this for the long haul and that's really the expectation that we heard from Colorado Springs police that they are ready to go for hours more and they're not expecting this to really be exactly resolve anytime soon. There are unknown casualties just to update our viewers in this active shooting situation at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Four police officers injured, perhaps a fifth, nine people taken to local hospitals there.
We are still waiting for updated information on that as well. We have new information on this breaking news straight ahead. CNN's live coverage of the active shooting situation at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood will continue with Brooke Baldwin.