A police official in Colorado Springs has identified the Planned Parenthood shooter as 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear. Dear entered a Planned Parenthood clinic Friday with an “assault-style rifle” and opened fire at the health center. After a nearly five-hour shootout, Dear was taken into custody last night. He killed three people, a police officer and two others, and wounded nine before finally surrendering to the police.
The police have not yet identified Dear’s motives. “The perpetrator is in custody,” Mayor John Suthers said at a press conference last night. “There is a huge crime scene that has to be processed and we have to determine how many victims there are.” Police continue working to identify “suspicious items” Dear also brought to the clinic.
The shooting comes as Planned Parenthood faces national criticism and statewide investigations over a series of deceptively edited videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. Those videos have spurred even more protests of the organization and, in the last few months, a number of clinics have been targeted by arsonists; a truly stark reminder of the high price of “protecting women.”
In a statement released last night Cecile Richards, President of PPFA, said, “Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the brave law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way in Colorado Springs. We are profoundly grateful for their heroism in helping to protect all women, men, and young people as they access basic health care in this country.”
On social media, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains confirmed that the Colorado Springs clinic would be closed indefinitely; the other 28 clinics in the region will remain open:
Image via AP.