Following interviews with Robert Lewis Dear, the 59-year-old Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting suspect that allegedly shot and killed three and sent nine more to the hospital with gunshot wounds on Black Friday, CNN reported on November 29 that apparent motives for the shootings included Dear’s opposition to abortion plus his views concerning the U.S. government. During preliminary interviews with investigators, Dears spoke of his anti-government and anti-abortion feelings and mentioned “baby parts,” according to CNN.
Officials warned that it’s still too early in their investigation to confirm those as the final motives for the shootings and say that their investigations are still ongoing. The president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Vicki Cowart, is convinced though that the shootings were “motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion,” according to CNN. Attorney General Loretta Lynch who described the shootings as an “unconscionable attack and a crime against women receiving health care services,” has committed her office resources to fully supporting the investigation currently going on by state and federal officials.
The shootings began on Friday around 11:30 a.m. first outside in the parking lot and then inside the Planned Parenthood building located near a shopping mall in Colorado Springs, according to ABC News. Reports immediately began pouring in to police that there was an active shooter inside the building.
Area roads were closed. Civilians in the area were warned to stay inside and seek shelter.
Witnesses inside the Planned Parenthood clinic described the shooter as having a “stoned, cold face,” according to CNN. One witness working in a chiropractor’s office near the scene of the shootings said she saw a look of concern come across one a patient’s face. Then she heard the gunfire erupt. Another witness, a salon worker, said she heard about 10 shots fired and that she saw one of the police officers go down from the shooter’s bullets.
Police managed to get inside the Planned Parenthood building. After shouting and communicating with Dear, police persuaded him to surrender. The shooter was taken into custody around 4:52 p.m.
Following a search of the parking lot outside of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, law enforcement officials told CNN that several tanks of propane were discovered near the car that Dear drove to the scene. Police are theorizing that Dear was trying to shoot the propane tanks in an effort to create an explosion that would have wreaked even further damage.
Dear is being held without bond. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Monday. For more on Dear’s disturbing background, see the video accompanying this article.