Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting suspect to appear in court
(Reuters) - The man accused of killing three people and wounding nine in a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was due to make his first court appearance on Monday by way of video link from jail.
Colorado Spings: (Reuters) - The man accused of killing three people and wounding nine in a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was due to make his first court appearance on Monday by way of video link from jail.
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, was expected to face multiple counts of murder and attempted murder following Friday`s deadly siege. Planned Parenthood says reports that Dear told investigators "no more baby parts" after his arrest showed he was acting on an anti-abortion agenda.
Dear, a native of South Carolina, was to appear before a judge by video link at 1:30 p.m. MST (2030 GMT) from the jail where he was being detained without bond.
About an hour before that hearing was scheduled to take place, Penrose-St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs, where six of the victims were treated, was briefly placed on a security lockdown because of a "security concern." The hospital tweeted that the Colorado Springs police had responded and that the situation had been resolved.
Friday`s rampage is believed to have been the first deadly attack on a U.S. abortion provider in six years. The Colorado Springs centre has been targeted for protests by anti-abortion activists.
One police officer and two civilians died in the attack, which according to newly emerging details began just outside the building, adjacent to a shopping area on the northwest side of Colorado`s second-largest city.
Ke`Arre Stewart, 29, an Iraq war veteran, was struck by a bullet in front of the clinic after walking out to talk on his cell phone. Wounded, he ran back inside to warn others to take cover, his brother told NBC News. Stewart died of his wound.
"I believe that`s his military instinct, you know," NBC News quoted his brother, Leyonte Chandler, as saying. "Before his time ran out I guess that was his main priority ... to help and save other lives."
Planned Parenthood already was on heightened alert against threats of violence nationwide, and some affiliates said they would review their security measures further.
Several U.S. media outlets, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, have said Dear used the phrase "no more baby parts" in statements he made to investigators after his surrender. Reuters could not independently confirm those reports.
The reported comment was widely seen as an apparent reference to secretly recorded videos released months ago that anti-abortion groups have said showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted foetal tissue.
Planned Parenthood has said the videos in question were produced to distort the issue of foetal-tissue donations made by the group for scientific research. It says reimbursements the organisation received to cover the costs of those donations was neither unlawful nor unethical.
Authorities have said they do not know what precipitated Friday`s attack and have declined to discuss publicly whether the suspect was motivated by anti-abortion sentiments.
U.S. Justice Department officials have joined the investigation, raising the possibility the federal government could bring a terrorism or civil rights case against Dear.