The picture neighbors are painting of Robert Lewis Dear, who allegedly shot over a dozen people outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on Friday, is one of a “rambling and incoherent” loner who never talked about abortion. Dear, 57-years-old and residing in Colorado and North Carolina, was arrested at the scene in connection with the violent shooting that claimed the lives of three people, including one police officer and injured 9 others, including multiple officers.
Dear appears to have no association with the pro-life movement and those who know him say he is an awkward man who never discussed religion or abortion. The profile they paint is far from a caricature of a pro-life activist who has an issue with the Planned Parenthood abortion business and more of a loner or renegade who may have mental health issue and, at a minimum, is a bit “off.”
Planned Parenthood officials have confirmed none of the people killed in the shooting or 9 victims who were injured were Planned Parenthood abortion clinic staff or patients and authorities have released no motive for the shooter as to whether or not he actually targeted Planned Parenthood. And, according to the Associated Press, all of the shooting took place outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, not in it.
Dear is said to be living part of the time in a cabin with no electricity or running water in the North Carolina mountains. As CBS News reports:
The suspected gunman’s 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.
“If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive,” said Russell, who lives a few hundred feet down the mountain.
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.
Few other details about the suspect were immediately available, including whether he had any connection to Planned Parenthood.
“We don’t have any information on this individual’s mentality, or his ideas or ideology,” Colorado Springs police Lt. Catherine Buckley told reporters on Friday. She said Saturday that investigators expect to study the crime scene for several days looking for clues.
News reports indicate Dear has a previous arrest record with arrests for animal cruelty and as a “peeping Tom.”
Colleton County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Shane Roberts on Saturday told BuzzFeed News that the suspect of the shooting at Planned Parenthood, Robert L. Dear, lived in Walterboro, South Carolina, from 1997 at least to 2007.
Dear’s South Carolina license expired in 2014 and he also has an address in North Carolina, Roberts said.
Public records reviewed by BuzzFeed News indicate a Robert Lewis Dear Jr. has faced as many as nine criminal charges in North and South Carolina, including two misdemeanors for cruelty to animals (for which he was found not guilty during a bench trial) and for being a peeping tom (which was dismissed at a preliminary hearing).
There are also voting records of a Robert Lewis Dear Jr. living in Hartsel, Colorado, as recently as 2014. The town lies in the middle of the state and is just over one hour’s drive from Colorado Springs.
Dear also has domestic violence charges and a DUI charge on his record.
According to one report provided to TheBlaze, a woman who was married to Dear at the time of the incident in June 1997 told police that her husband assaulted her and locked her out of their residence.
“The victim wanted something on record of this incident occurring,” the report states. “The victim does not wish to file any charges at this time.”
In another 2002 report, Dear’s neighbor told police that he had made unwanted advancements toward her. She said both she and her husband had witnessed Dear in the bushes next to their home.
The neighbor informed police then that she was afraid for her safety.
According to voting records, there is a Robert Lewis Dear registered to vote Hartsel, Colorado. However, the voter registered as a female and is not registered as a Republican.
As LifeNews reported, the police officer killed during Friday’s shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood is pro-life and a co-pastor at his local church. Garrett Swasey, 44, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer who was shot and killed while responding to the shooting and was described by his fellow church members and friends as a courageous man and loving father who drew strength and inspiration from his Christian faith.
Dear is being held without bond and will appear in court on Monday.
Police spokeswoman Catherine Buckley said the clinic was the original site of the attack, though preliminary reports had indicated it may have been a nearby Chase Bank. The motive of the suspect was not immediately clear. Buckley said she could not confirm the connection between the Planned Parenthood office and the shooting, but could confirm that the Planned Parenthood location was the address of the original report of shots fired.
Multiple pro-life groups quickly condemned the shooting while pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent a tweet exploiting the active shooting before the shooter was apprehended or a motive known to push for support for the abortion business.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkin told LifeNews:
“While the investigation into the shooting at the Planned Parenthood center continues, regardless of what the motive is determined to be, we strongly condemn this violence. As the target of domestic terrorism inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the staff of the Family Research Council empathize with all the victims of this violence. All of us at the Family Research Council join with the pro-life movement in praying for the injured officers and victims of these deplorable acts.”
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“Only through peaceful means –not violence— can we truly become a nation that once again values all human life, born and unborn,” concluded Perkins.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains issued a statement responding to the shooting, saying it doesn’t know if Planned Parenthood was the target of the attack.
“We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack,” Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President Vicki Cowart said in a statement. “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country.”