(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — The man accused of killing three people — including a police officer — at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs allegedly made rambling comments during the incident, some of which suggested animosity toward the health care provider, according to law enforcement sources.
Robert Dear remains in jail as he awaits his first court appearance, scheduled for Monday. He was arrested Friday after an hours-long standoff with police.
Sources told ABC News the Justice Department is building a domestic terrorism case against Dear, though it would only move forward if somehow the state capital case was sidetracked.
On Saturday, police and federal agents used a robot to search the mobile home and storage shed on the property in Hartsel, Colorado, where Dear lived. Neighbors said he mostly kept to himself.
In a statement released late Saturday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch called the shooting a “crime against women receiving healthcare services at Planned Parenthood.”
While police haven’t released a motive or said whether the clinic was the intended target, Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a statement Dear “eyewitnesses confirm that the man … was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion.”
“We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months,” Cowart said. “That environment breeds acts of violence. Americans reject the hatred and vitriol that fueled this tragedy. We do not accept this environment as normal. We should not have to live in a world where accessing health care includes safe rooms and bullet proof glass.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he was not aware of any threats to the clinic, but said “we can speculate” on the motive.
“It happened at a Planned Parenthood center,” he said. “My suspicions are that has a lot to do with the motive.”
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Recent posts in National News