Source: Colorado Springs Police Department
On Friday, a standoff with a lone gunman at a Planned Parenthood left three people dead, including a police officer, and injured nine others.
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, was arrested Friday after a standoff with police that lasted five hours at a Colorado Springs, Colorado, Planned Parenthood clinic. Two civilians and one University of Colorado police officer were killed. Nine others were injured by Dear in the standoff, but they are all expected to survive.
Officer Garrett Swasey, 44, “died in the attack along with two people police are describing as civilians,” Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee reported. “Planned Parenthood says all of its staff at the clinic came through safely.”
Swasey was a six-year veteran of the force and had previously been a champion ice skater, according to the Denver Post.
He was married with two children, a university spokesman told the Post
“This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal,” President Obama said in a statement Saturday morning. “If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them.”
According to multiple reports Saturday morning, Dear has a history of domestic violence, as well as animal abuse complaints.
The attack on the healthcare clinic is the worst in a series of instances that have happened at Planned Parenthood locations across the country since July, when an anti-abortion group released selectively-edited videos of executives at the company discussing fetal tissue donations. The group doctored the videos to make it look like Planned Parenthood’s representatives were talking about profiting from the procedure.
The videos, touted by right wing news outlets, have been shown to cause an uptick in domestic terrorist instances by pro-life extremists, the FBI reported in September.
“An FBI Intelligence Assessment at the time found these attacks were ‘consistent with the actions of lone offenders using tactics of arsons and threats all of which are typical of the pro-life extremist movement.’ Moreover, the report said it was ‘likely criminal or suspicious incidents will continue to be directed against reproductive health care providers, their staff and facilities.’”
According to federal law, Planned Parenthood is forbidden to profit from the sale of fetal baby parts.
After the videos surfaced, 11 states conducted investigations into Planned Parenthood locations and the alleged “selling of baby parts,” to which none have found any wrong-doing by the organization.
Though Planned Parenthood does provide abortions, it makes up only three percent of the healthcare provider’s services, which also includes cancer screenings, STD testing, contraceptive services, and more.