Three people, including a police officer were killed in the shooting and nine others, including five police officers, were injured. It began just before noon on Friday, while the clinic was open and in operation. The suspect was taken into custody five hours later, just before 5 p.m.
The victims have been identified as University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Police Officer, father, husband and pastor Garrett Swasey, 44,; Jennifer Markovsky, a 36-year-old married mother of two originally from Hawaii; and Ke’Arre Stewart, a 29-year-old married father and Iraq War veteran.
Dear is due in court Monday, records show. He is being held at the El Paso County Jail without bail.
Police have not commented on a possible motive, but Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said people can make “inferences from where it took place,” the Associated Press reports.
Suthers, the former attorney general for Colorado, said investigators are still trying to learn more about Dear.
Here’s what you need to know about Dear and the shooting:
1. Dear Told Detectives ‘No More Baby Parts’ in Reference to Planned Parenthood
Dear told detectives after he was taken into custody, “no more baby parts,” in reference to Planned Parenthood, sources told NBC News.
But the sources told the network Dear has said many things to investigators, and also made references about President Obama.
A neighbor told Buzzfeed News that Dear once gave him anti-Obama pamphlets and told him Obama is “ruining the country and needed to be impeached.”
Dear was in a standoff with police for several hours. He never made it past the lobby of the Planned Parenthood building because of a locked security door. A security guard had already left for the day.
Dear shot six responding police officers, wounding five and killing one. The other officers are expected to survive. He also killed two civilians, who have not been identified. The 15 Planned Parenthood staffers inside the building were not harmed.
Police said officers inside the building shouted to the suspect and he surrendered to them without being injured.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 28, 2015
Dear was led from the building in a white T-shirt and handcuffs, according to videos and photos from the scene. The Denver Post reports that he is cooperating with police and told officers he acted alone.
Teams of police previously evacuated “numerous people” from the building. The shooting was first reported at approximately 11:45 a.m.
The shooting started at the Planned Parenthood clinic on Centennial Boulevard, police said. Several hours after the shooting was first reported, police said they were still engaging in gunfire with the suspect.
2. He Is Originally From South Carolina & Was Living in Colorado
Robert Lewis Dear, the suspected gunman, lived in Hartsel, Colorado. He is originally from South Carolina and has also lived in North Carolina, records show.
Dear was previously married and has children. He divorced in 2000.
Dear ranted about religion on Cannabis.com. He stopped posting on the site in January 2006, and no other online presence has been found.
Read more about his social media posts at the link below:
Neighbors in the Hartsel, which is west of Colorado Springs in Park County, told the Denver Post Dear lived with a woman and two dogs in a recreational vehicle on his property there. He had no running water or electricity.
He lived in a cabin that was also without running water or electricity when he was in North Carolina, his neighbor told the New York Daily News.
“If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive — topics all over place,” James Russell told the Daily News.
Dear’s age has been reported to as both 57 and 59, but public records indicate that he is 57. His family is from South Carolina, according to public records and his father’s obituary.
He is listed as an unaffiliated registered voter in Park County, Colorado, though the online record states that he is female.
3. Dear Was Charged With Animal Cruelty & ‘Peeping Tom’ in South Carolina
According to court records, Dear has an arrest record in both North and South Carolina. He has been convicted of several traffic offenses, but has been arrested multiple times on more serious charges.
“Since March 2002, he has been leering at Ms. Roberts on a regular basis,” the report reads, citing Roberts. “Memorial day weekend last year, 2001, was the first time that the Roberts noticed Mr. Dear in the bushes by their house.”
His convictions include seat belt violations, driver’s license violations, operating a vehicle in an unsafe mechanical condition and driving a non-registered vehicle.
Dear was charged in 2002 in Colleton County, South Carolina, with charges of “peeping Tom”/eavesdropping. That charge was dismissed. He was living in Walterboro, South Carolina.
A restraining order was also filed against Dear that year, by his neighbor.
“Since March 2002, he has been leering at (his neighbor) on a regular basis,” according to a police report obtained by The Daily Beast from Dear’s “peeping Tom” arrest. “Memorial day weekend last year, 2001, was the first time that (his neighbors) noticed Mr. Dear in the bushes by their house.”
According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Dear was reported to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office in 1997, when his wife claimed he assaulted her. She told police Dear took his keys from her and locked her out of their home, according to a police report. She then tried to enter through a window, but was pushed out by Dear, who threatened her, she told police. She did not file charges against him.
He was charged in Colleton County in 2004 with two counts of cruelty to animals, but was found not guilty in a bench trial.
A police report obtained by Buzzfeed News shows that his neighbor told police Dear shot his dog with a pellet gun. Dear denied the allegation, but he told a sheriff’s deputy that his neighbor “was lucky that it was only a pellet that hit the dog and not a bigger round.”
The report states the house where police responded was “marked” with an American flag and a “rebel flag,” but does not specify if that was Dear’s home or his neighbors.
Also in 2004, the same neighbor called deputies to report Dear threatened to “do bodily harm,” to him, according to the Post and Courier. Dear claimed the neighbor knocked his motorcycle to the ground.
4. He Was Reported to Have a ‘Long Gun’ & Brought ‘Devices’ to the Scene
Dispatchers said the gunman was wearing a long coat and a hunting-type hat, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
Police said the gunman is believed to have used a long gun.
The gunman walked into the Planned Parenthood and began shooting, KKTV reports.
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, a witness saw the gunman shoot someone near the front door of the Planned Parenthood and then followed him through the parking lot and inside. The witness told the newspaper the gunman “unleashed a barrage of gunfire,” after shattering the glass front doors of the building.
“We don’t have any information on this individual’s mentality, or his ideas or ideology,” Colorado Springs Police Lt. Catherine Buckley said.
Police said the suspect brought possible devices, including propane tanks, to the scene.
Investigators had to wait several hours for the scene to be secure, but said Saturday morning that the items are “no longer a threat.”
5. The Officer Killed in the Shooting Was Responding to a Call for Help
The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Police Officer killed in the shooting, 44-year-old Garrett Swasey, responded to the scene after calls for help from other officers.
Swasey, who was married with two young children, had worked as a campus police officer for six years, the New York Times reports. He has been the co-pastor at Hope Chapel in Colorado Springs for seven years.
“Here’s a guy who worked full time as a police officer, and then gave a great amount of time to his local church and didn’t get a dime for it,” Scott Dontanville, another pastor at the church, told the Times. “He did it because it was the thing that he felt he needed to do.”
Another pastor and friend, Kurt Aichele, told the Times that Swasey was formerly a nationally ranked figure skater and ice dancer, and moved to Colorado to train.
“It’s not the first time that he’s been placed in harm’s way,” Aichele said. “He’s an absolute man of courage.”
Friday’s shooting was the second mass shooting in Colorado Springs in the past month. A gunman opened fire on Halloween, killing three. Read more about that shooting at the link below:
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