The Latest: Lynch: Clinic shooting crime against women
Nov. 29, 2015
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The latest on the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. (All times local):
Attorney General Loretta Lynch is calling the shootings in Colorado Springs a crime against women receiving health care services at Planned Parenthood.
In a statement Saturday night, Lynch calls the attack not only a crime against the local community but a crime against law enforcement seeking to protect and to serve, against other innocent people, and against the rule of law as well as all Americans' right to safety and security.
The nation's top law enforcement officer says federal officials stand ready to offer any and all assistance to the district attorney and state and local law enforcement in Colorado as they move forward with their investigation.
Lynch also says her thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims, including slain police officer Garrett Swasey. She says Swasey gave his life in order to keep others safe.
A law enforcement official says the suspect in the attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic made a comment about "no more baby parts" after his arrest.
The official could not elaborate about the comment. Planned Parenthood said in a statement Saturday that witnesses said the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation. Police have not disclosed a motive for the attack.
Police say Robert Lewis Dear killed three people during the shooting rampage and hours-long standoff at the clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday. Dear is in custody and is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.
— From AP reporter Sadie Gurman in Colorado Springs.
Police are releasing a few new details about the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.
Police say all nine people, including five police officers, who were taken to hospitals on Friday were shot but there were also three officers who were injured in other ways. All are in good condition and expected to recover.
There were 24 other people who were evacuated unharmed from the clinic. In addition, police say 300 people sheltered in place at a nearby shopping center, including a grocery store, over several hours as police responded to the shooting.
The shooting is being investigated by state and local authorities as well as the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Six police officers and dispatcher from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs choked back tears as they stood for a moment of silence for slain officer Garrett Swasey.
Swasey was among the three killed Friday in a shooting attack at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic.
The 44-year-old officer was the first of three victims to be identified in the shootings. A longer vigil was planned for Swasey Saturday evening.
None of the officers talked to reporters after the ceremony, though one cried into the shoulder of the school mascot.
The other two victims had not been identified last Saturday afternoon.
The regional head of Planned Parenthood said none of the clinic's 15 employees at the clinic Friday were hurt. Vicki Cowart said the group was tracking down patients who might have been headed to the clinic Friday afternoon, but hadn't discovered who the victims were.
The South Carolina neighbors of the man suspected in the attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic say he hid food in the woods and liked to skinny dip.
John Hood said Saturday that when he moved to the small town of Walterboro about 50 miles west of Charleston, Robert Lewis Dear was living in a doublewide mobile home next door.
Hood said Dear made money by selling prints of his uncle Bill Stroud's paintings of Southern plantations and the Masters golf tournament.
Hood said that Dear rarely talked to them, and when he did, he offered unsolicited advice, including recommending that Hood put a metal roof on his home so the U.S. government couldn't spy on him.
Authorities say they're not ready to discuss a possible motive in Friday's shooting.
A Roman Catholic priest who holds a weekly Mass in front of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that was attacked — and who has participated in anti-abortion demonstrations — says the alleged gunman was not part of his group.
The Rev. Bill Carmody said Saturday he does not recognize 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear, who is accused of killing three people and wounding nine others at the clinic Friday.
Typically, 15 to 20 people take part in Carmody's weekly service, but only about five showed up Friday morning because it was bitter cold and some members were away because of Thanksgiving. Carmody, who has held Mass in front of the clinic for 20 years, says the group left the area more than an hour before the gunfire began.
He says, "We missed all the action, thank God."
About a dozen police vehicles and fire trucks are parked near a small white trailer in the Colorado town of Hartsel, about 60 miles west from where three people were killed in an attack at Planned Parenthood clinic.
Residents of Hartsel said Saturday that the man arrested in the shooting lived in the trailer and would occasionally be seen at the town's post office.
Jamie Heffelman, owner of the Highline Cafe in Hartsel, says nobody in the small, rural community knew Robert Lewis Dear because he never said much.
Records show Dear purchased the property in Hartsel about a year ago.
The regional head of Planned Parenthood says the man who attacked its clinic in Colorado Springs "broke in" to the clinic but didn't get past a locked door leading to the main part of the facility.
After a vigil for those injured and killed on Saturday, Vicki Cowart said there was no armed security on Friday when 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear allegedly launched his attack.
When asked if the clinic should have more security, Cowart said people going to a health clinic shouldn't have to walk through metal detectors.
The regional head of Planned Parenthood promises to quickly reopen the Colorado Springs clinic where three people were killed and continue to offer health care services to anyone who needs them.
Vicki Cowart spoke at the first of several vigils planned for victims Saturday and drew a standing ovation as she walked to the church pulpit.
She said all 15 employees at the clinic survived and worked hard to make sure everyone else got into safe spaces and stayed quiet during the attack.
She said the organization would learn from the attack, "square our shoulders" and carry on with its mission.
After her remarks, a woman in the audience stood up and objected to the vigil becoming a "political statement" before leaving.
Earlier, Rev. Nori Rost called the gunman a "domestic terrorist." In the back of the room, someone held a sign that said "Women's bodies are not battlefields. Neither is our town."
At least four people injured in the shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs have been released from hospitals.
Those out of the hospital as of Saturday include Ozy Licano, who was injured when the gunman fired on him in the parking lot. The other three haven't been identified.
A total of nine people were hospitalized, including five police officers.
Three people were killed in the attack, including a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs police officer, Garrett Swasey. The other two victims haven't been publicly identified yet.
The father of the police officer killed in the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting says his son loved figure skating, was a great dad and was loved by all in his department.
David Swasey told the Boston Globe his son, Garrett, moved to Colorado from Massachusetts in the 1980s to pursue figure skating and won a national championship in the junior ranks.
Forty-four-year-old Garrett Swasey was the first of three victims to be identified in the shootings at the clinic in Colorado Springs. Married with two children, Swasey worked as a police officer at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
Swasey was originally from Melrose, Massachusetts, where Police Chief Michael Lyle said he dedicated much of his life to helping others.
The mayor of Colorado Springs says authorities aren't ready to discuss a possible motive of the gunman who attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic there but says people can make "inferences from where it took place."
John Suthers says investigators have interviewed 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina but says authorities still want to learn more about him, suggesting that his mental health was part of the investigation.
Before being elected mayor earlier this year, Suthers served as the state's attorney general and said he investigated complaints of misconduct against Planned Parenthood. He praised the security staff working at the clinic Friday and said they were "incredibly helpful" in working with police to monitor the gunman's whereabouts on surveillance video and advising on the building's layout.
The man who police say attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado had lived part of the time in a cabin with no electricity or running water in the North Carolina mountains.
His neighbors in Black Mountain said Robert Lewis Dear kept mostly to himself. But James Russell said when Dear did talk, it was a rambling combination of a number of topics that didn't make sense together and he tended to avoid eye contact.
Two topics Russell said he never heard Dear talk about were religion or abortion.
Dear's cabin was a half-mile up a curvy dirt road about 15 miles west of Asheville. A cross made of twigs was nailed to the wall of the pale yellow shack on Saturday.
Dear also spent time in a trailer in the nearby town of Swannanoa.
President Barack Obama says the Planned Parenthood shootings show the urgent need "to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons on war" for "people who have no business wielding them."
"Enough is enough," Obama says in a statement a day after a gunman killed three people at a Colorado clinic.
Obama says it's not known what motivated the shooter, but it's clear "more Americans and their families had fear forced upon them" — and that, the president says, "is not normal. We can't let it become normal."
He says 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 America must make it harder to get guns.
Police have identified the suspect in an attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs as Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina.
The 6-foot-4-inch man was taken into custody Friday after an hourslong standoff and shootout. Jail booking records indicate that Dear is due in court on Monday.
No other details about the suspect were immediately available, including whether he had any connection to Planned Parenthood. Police say three people, including an officer, were killed in the attack.
Lt. Catherine Buckley said Saturday that the items that Dear brought to the scene are "no longer a threat." She wouldn't say what the items were or why they were no longer a threat.
Buckley says investigators expect to study the crime scene for several days.
This story corrects the first name of the suspect in one of the items to Robert.