Planned Parenthood pinned some of the blame for 57-year-oldRobert L. Dear’s attack at its clinic in Colorado Springs on“trolls” who have criticized the abortion provider.
While abortion opponents have long denounced Planned Parenthood,which provides more than 325,000 abortion a year, it came underintense scrutiny following the release of a series of videosshowing Planned Parenthood officials and doctors discussing thesale of fetal tissue and organs for research purposes.
Dear allegedly cited those videos after his arrest on Friday.Anonymous sources told several news outlets that Dear madereference to “no more baby parts” in interviews withinvestigators.
The videos, which were released by the Center for MedicalProgress, reignited debate over the abortion issue in general analso led to a congressional hearing over whether Planned Parenthoodshould receive federal funding.
After the release of several videos, Planned Parenthood tookaction against the Center for Medical Progress to block the releaseof additional footage.
Abortion opponents — and even some viewers who say theyare neutral on the abortion issue — found the discussions andimages in the videos disturbing. Planned Parenthood and itssupporters argued that the organization did nothing wrong and thatthe videos were edited to portray it in a bad light.
While police have not officially commented on Dear’salleged references to the videos and have not discussed a possiblemotive, other officials have asserted that he was politicallymotivated.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said on Sunday that theshootings, which left three dead and nine wounded, were“certainly…a form of terrorism.”
“There are bloggers and talk shows where they really focuson trying to get people to that point of boiling over,” headded.
Police were called to the Planned Parenthood clinic shortlybefore noon on Friday. And though it is still unclear whether Dearfirst opened fire inside or outside of the facility, he surrenderedinside after a five hour standoff. Â Three people diedand another nine were wounded. Garrett Swasey, a 44-year-old policeofficer, was killed.
Vicki Cowart, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the RockyMountains, has said that the clinic’s staff and patients wereall safe. Police will release the names of the two civilian victimson Monday.
Planned Parenthood posted other tweets on Sunday asserting thatDear was motivated by “hateful rhetoric” and“smear campaigns.”
Though little is known about Dear, the picture that is emergingof the South Carolina native is of a loner with mental healthissues. He was accused of abusing his wife in 1997. And in 2002, hewas arrested on a “peeping tom” charge and for animalcruelty after allegedly shooting a neighbor’s dog with apellet gun. (RELATED: Colorado Springs Shooter Robert L. DearWas An Accused Peeping Tom Once Arrested For AnimalCruelty)
Neighbors who have been interviewed about Dear have said that hekept to himself and was often unfriendly and aggressive.