Police are trying to figure out why a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic Friday. Robert Lewis Dear, the alleged shooter, is due to make his first appearance in court Monday.
The 57 year old is accused of killing three people — Jennifer Markovsky, Ke’arre Stewart, and police officer Garrett Swasey.
Markovsky, a 35-year-old married mother of two, died while accompanying a friend to the clinic.
“She was the most lovable person,” Markovsky’s father, John Ah-King, told The Denver Post. “So kind-hearted, just always there when I needed her.”
Ke’arre Stewart, a 29-year-old soldier from the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division, was killed when he ran back inside the clinic after being shot to warn others of the rampage.
“I believe that’s his military instinct, you know: Leave no soldier behind, leave no civilian behind, just leave no one behind,” Stewart’s brother, Leyonte Chandler, told NBC News.
Also killed in the shootout was Garrett Swasey, a police officer at the University of Colorado who was called in to assist.
“There was no way any of us could have kept him here,” UCCS Police Chief Brian McPike said of Swasey. “He was always willing to go. … He had an enthusiasm that was hard to quell.”
Swasey, who also served as co-pastor of his church, Hope Chapel, was a married father of two.
“His greatest joys were his family, his church, and his profession,” his family said in a statement Sunday. “Helping others brought him deep satisfaction and being a police officer was a part of him.”
Scott Dontanville, a friend of Swasey, said, “He would have gone into that clinic to serve those people because their lives matter.”
Meanwhile, details are emerging about the gunman. Authorities say Dear made remarks about “baby parts” to investigators after surrendering to police.
“He was the kind of person you had to watch out for,” one of Dear’s neighbors told The Washington Post. “He was a very weird individual. It’s hard to explain, but he had a weird look in his eye most of the time.”
Another neighbor remarked, “He complained about everything. He said he worked with the government, and everybody was out to get him, and he knew the secrets of the U.S.A. He said, ‘Nobody touch me, because I’ve got enough information to put the whole U.S. of A in danger.’ It was very crazy.”
Over the weekend, several presidential hopefuls spoke out about the attack.
Democrats Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted the hashtag “We stand with PP.”
Several GOP candidates also addressed the attack on Sunday talk shows.
“What he did is domestic terrorism, and what he did is absolutely abominable,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Any hate crime is a horrible thing, no matter from where it comes, and should be condemned very strongly,” retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson told ABC’s “This Week.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R- Texas, agreed.
“It’s unacceptable and it’s horrific and wrong,” the Texas lawmaker said.
Meanwhile, the community of Colorado Springs is pulling together. Candlelight vigils were held over the weekend to remember those killed and injured in the attacks.
Report via CBN News
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