Suspect in custody, motives remain unclear
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
On November 27, three were killed and nine were injured after Robert Lewis Dear, 59, laid siege with a gun to a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic for five hours.
Dear surrendered after officers took a hold of the building.
Amongst the deceased was Garrett Swasey, a police officer who responded to the standoff. The two other victims, who have not yet been identified, were civilians.
However, the actions of the police officers who managed to enter the building resulted in the lives of many being saved. Most were able to escape the building, and those who couldn’t remained unharmed by locking themselves in several rooms.
Dear had also reportedly placed improvised explosives around the building, although none of them had detonated.
According to a neighbour, Dear lived in relative seclusion with no electricity or running water.
“You can tell his personality is just off. The way he looked at you, the way he talked, he just seemed off,” said his neighbour, James Russell, to CBC.
Russell explained that Dear often spoke erratically and had a difficult time keeping to one topic. However, two topics that had never been mentioned by Dear were religion and abortion. For the time being, there have not been any reliable sources to suggest a motive or reason behind Dear’s attack.
“We don’t have any information on this individual’s mentality, or his ideas or ideology,” stated Colorado Springs police Lt. Catherine Buckley, as covered by CBC.
In a national address, Barack Obama said: “We don’t yet know what this particular gunman’s so-called motive was for shooting 12 people, or for terrorizing an entire community, when he opened fire with an assault weapon and took hostages at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado.”
Obama once again brought forth the issue of gun control, saying that it was urgent to enforce stricter gun-control so that such attacks do not become normalized.
In the aftermath of the attack, many took to Twitter under the presumption that the attack was a terrorist attack in the name of the pro-life movement.
Laci Green, an American sex educator and activist, tweeted: “Livid and devastated about the Planned Parenthood shooting. I’m sick to my stomach that we continue to arm misogynists with guns.”
Three other Planned Parenthood clinics have been vandalized since September, and there has been multiple incidents at other clinics over the past year, including one invasion and one arson, as reported by CNN.
Despite the crimes committed against Planned Parenthood, there will reportedly be no drawback on its provision of services.