Colorado Springs Mayor: Planned Parenthood Standoff "Appears" to be Domestic Terrorism

The Colorado Springs mayor and Rocky Mountains Planned Parenthood CEO are interviewed on "This Week."
7:04 | 11/29/15

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Transcript for Colorado Springs Mayor: Planned Parenthood Standoff "Appears" to be Domestic Terrorism
Joining us now the mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, Mr. Mayor, what more can you tell us about the motivation in this killing? Well, Martha, the police and the prosecutor haven't officially released anything about the motivation. As a former district attorney, I'm very respectful of that and I'll await, you know, the release of official information before we'll comment on the motivation. But do you believe planned parenthood was targeted? It certainly appears that way. I'm sure that, as the case proceeds, the criminal case proceeds, we'll learn a lot more about the motivation. Do you know anything more about the statements that he allegedly made about planned parenthood or about abortion? I know what you know, somebody unauthorized made some statements to the press, but I'm not going to contribute to that, Martha. I'm going to let the police and the prosecutors do their job. What more can you tell us this morning about how this happened? The gunman killed one of your officers, and yet you still managed to take the suspect alive? Yeah, it was kind of an unusual situation in the fact that he gave himself up alive. Martha, I was in the command center watching this unfold and the police just did a fantastic job, from the command center, they were able to monitor security cameras in the center and advise the S.W.A.T. Officers inside about the movement of the perpetrator. And that sort of coordination, they were e-mailing diagrams about the building inside to the S.W.A.T. Team and that coordination I'm absolutely certain saved a number of lives because they were able to get people out of the building that were in areas that the perpetrator was not. Incredible work by your officers. We also heard that the gunman left some unspecified items outside. Possibly, explosives or bags. Have you cleared the scene there now? There were some things in his truck, I'm not sure they have been identified as having, you know, being related. We're just going to have -- the crime scene is still being processed. We're going to have to wait and see what the police and prosecutor tell us about this. Would you say this is an act of domestic terrorism? It certainly appears that way. We have, Martha, something that occurs quite a bit. We have a person that's pretty much off the grid and acting for whatever motivations very hard to ferret out these folks. You know, I was an attorney general that was a head of a committee looking at things that are consistent about these kind of incidents. And one of the things that we don't do very well is identify these people sometimes with mental health problems and prevent their access to weapons. And I, you know, we'll wait and see here, but by all indications here that this guy was off the grid. Okay, thank you very much. Mayor Suthers. Now let's turn to the president and CEO of planned parenthood of rocky mountain. Vick gee Cowart joins us in an ABC news exclews exclusive. Do you believe the facility was targeted because it is a planned parenthood facility? Good morning. Like the mayor, I have the same kinds of information that's been reported that the individual that did this crime had ramblings about abortion, but we didn't have any advanced notice, but it does appear that it was targeted at us from what we have heard. And walk us through what happened with your staff, we heard about this incredible coordination on security, but where your staff was, what you know about what happened inside. Thank you for asking that question. Because our focus really has been around our staff, planned parenthood holds the safety and the well-being of our patients and our staff at the very top of our list. It's our most important thing. I'm so pleased that all of our staff got out of the building safe, uninjured. What happened was, they evidently heard a shot and they were able to move right into their training and I want to give a huge shout-out to the people who were in that health center, because they responded perfectly according to their training. They got away from the front of the building. They got into the back, locked portions of the building. They called 911 immediately. They moved into locked office spaces. Not one big space. But different office spaces around the building. And they hunkered down. They quieted their cellphones. They didn't talk and they waited for the officials to rescue them, and we are so, so thankful for the first responders and the law enforcement in Colorado Springs and heartbroken at the loss of an officer who was one of the first responders. It is truly a tragedy. I want to move back to this idea of domestic terrorism, again, you're being cautious about what the suspect may or may not have said, but you have said in a statement, that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism. We have experienced so much hateful language, hateful speech, such a negative environment has been created around the work that planned parenthood does, around the idea of safe and legal abortion and we have seen that across the country from all sort of speakers in the last few months. I can't believe that this isn't contributing to some folks mentally unwell or not, thinking that it's okay to target planned parenthood or to target abortion providers. Are you talking about members of congress? Are you talking about politicians? I think politicians have been in that conversation, and I mean, you know that the air waves are full of anti-abortion language of anti-planned parenthood accusations. Much of which is false in nature and we at planned parenthood are first and foremost a health care provider, we provide life-saving services to all kinds of folks, men and women across our communities, and the tirades against planned parenthood in the last few months have really been over the top. Thanks very much for joining us, Vicki Cowart, this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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