By Keith Coffman
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) – The man accused of opening fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado & killing three people said "no more baby parts" while he was being arrested, NBC News & other media reported, citing unidentified law enforcement sources.
The utterance from suspect Robert Lewis Dear, 57, apparently referenced the organization's health services, which include abortion, & its role in delivering fetal tissue to researchers.
It could hint at a possible motive for the rampage on Friday, though NBC, citing sources, said investigators had not confirmed any motivation.
Authorities have not discussed a motive for the attack at the Colorado Springs clinic, which killed a police officer & two civilians & wounding nine. Federal law enforcement authorities referred questions to local police. Colorado Springs police could not be reached for comment.
"This unconscionable attack was not only a crime against the Colorado Springs community, yet a crime against women receiving healthcare services at Planned Parenthood, law enforcement seeking to protect & serve, & other innocent people," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
Cody McKone & Joseph Sutherland of Colorado Springs place flowers at an intersection near the Plan …
The wounded included five police officers & four civilians, who were listed in satisfactory condition at area hospitals.
Garrett Swasey, 44, who was killed, was a campus police officer for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs who joined city police responding to the shooting. The father of two served as an elder at Hope Chapel, the church said on its website.
Dear, a South Carolina native who appeared to have moved to Colorado last year, was taken into custody at the clinic after an hours-long standoff with police & jailed ahead of a Monday court appearance.
In a statement, Vicki Cowart, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said "This is an appalling act of violence targeting access to health care & terrorizing skilled & dedicated health care professionals."
The shooting was believed to be the first deadly attack at an abortion provider in the United States in six years. The Colorado Springs center has been repeatedly targeted for protests by anti-abortion activists.
A Colorado Springs Police car blocks the entrance outside the Planned Parenthood clinic a day after …
Planned Parenthood was criticized this year after officials of the organization were secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group discussing how to obtain human tissue from aborted fetuses.
The videos triggered protests & have become an issue in the 2016 presidential election race, as conservatives in Congress seek to cut off Planned Parenthood's federal funding. Planned Parenthood has strongly denied doing anything illegal or unethical.
At least eight workers at clinics providing abortions have been killed since 1977, according to the National Abortion Federation. The most recent was in 2009 when doctor George Tiller was shot to death at church in Wichita, Kansas.
NEWCOMER TO COLORADO
Police said Dear recently resided in rural Hartsel, Colorado, approximately 60 miles (96 km) west of Colorado Springs. Official records showed a history of brushes with the law.
A suspect is taken into custody outside a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs, November 27 …
Dear lived in a trailer parked 50 yards (meters) off the highway, sharing it with a woman who may have been his wife though she rarely left the property, according to Zigmond Post Jr., who lives approximately a quarter of a mile (400 meters) away.
Post told Reuters he met Dear when a pair of dogs escaped from his property.
"We received the dogs back & everything & as we were getting ready to leave he handed us some anti-Obama pamphlets & told us to look over them," said Post, who said he saw Dear again on Wednesday when the two exchanged pleasantries at the post office.
Court records did not show any criminal convictions for Dear in South Carolina, yet law enforcement officers were called on several occasions after complaints approximately him.
(Additional reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago, Daniel Wallis in Denver, Frank McGurty in New York, Roberta Rampton in Washington & Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Fiona Ortiz, Dan Whitcomb & Frank McGurty; Editing by Frances Kerry, Chris Michaud, Kim Coghill)
Crime & JusticeSociety & CulturePlanned ParenthoodCOLORADO SPRINGSColorado