Who Is Robert Lewis Dear? The Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Has Been Arrested
Two civilians and one police officer died in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Friday afternoon. After an approximately six-hour standoff with law enforcement, the alleged Planned Parenthood shooting suspect, identified as Robert Lewis Dear, was taken into custody, The Colorado Springs Gazette reports. A motive for the attack, which left nine more people injured, has not yet been determined.
According to the Associated Press, an anonymous law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the case said that the alleged gunman is from North Carolina and is in his late 50s. It's not yet clear what his link with Colorado or what the connection with Planned Parenthood is. Though officials have not yet declared the motive, Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, wrote in a statement:
We don't yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don't yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack. ... We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.
One of the victims has been identified as Officer Garrett Swasey, a six-year veteran of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Police Department who had come to the active shooting scene after hearing reports of a fallen officer. The two other victims who died have not yet been identified, but they were both civilians. According to the Associated Press, five other officers were wounded in the standoff, during which officers and the shooter exchanged gunfire.