After the news broke early Friday morning that hostages had been taken inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, many were quick to jump to conclusions about what the motive was behind the attacks. Forty-eight hours later and the smoke is starting to clear up.
Just before noon on Friday, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear made his way into the Planned Parenthood clinic with weapons in hand. Five hours later and Dear was finally taken into custody by the local authorities, but not before injuring 11 people, including three who died by the end of the night. According to a Nov. 28 report by The New York Times, new information has been released, giving a glimpse into the life of the shooter.
It was previously reported by BuzzFeed that Dear had been known as a loner who didn’t talk too much to people around town, but others confirmed that he had been vocal about his opposition against President Obama, handing out pamphlets that called for the president’s impeachment. In a statement given to the police by Dear following his arrest, he was quoted as saying “no more body parts,” while also referencing President Obama. Speaking with the Times was Pamela Ross, Dear’s ex-wife of 16 years. Ross had previously called the police on Dear to accuse him of domestic violence. While Dear was known to have a temper, he often quickly apologized.
With the attacks taking place at Planned Parenthood, a frequent target of conservative Christians who constantly protest and cause problems for patients and staff, many wondered about Dear’s religious and political background. In her interview with the Times, Ross said that while Dear wasn’t a regular church goer, he “believed wholeheartedly in the Bible,” and that he “read it cover to cover to cover.” Dear was reportedly raised as a Baptist, but was not openly “fixated” or vocal about religion or abortion.
Ross also elaborated further, noting that Dear wasn’t heavily into politics, but was a conservative who kept multiple guns around his home for both hunting and self protection. Ross and Dear were divorced in 2000 and have had limited contact since that time.