9 People were shot, 3 killed, including a police officer when a gunman opened fire at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Friday. 5 of the others injured were also officers. The initial shooting sparked a 6 hour standoff during which gunfire was exchanged between the gunman and police.
The suspect, who eventually surrendered and was taken into custody has now now been identified as Robert Lewis Dear.
Innocent bystanders, patients and staff were forced to take cover in the building and nearby businesses as the gunman rampaged on.
CNN tells one survivor’s story
Ozy Licano was in the two-story building’s parking lot when he saw someone crawling toward the clinic’s door. He tried to escape in his car when the gunman looked at him.
“He came out, and we looked each other in the eye, and he started aiming, and then he started shooting,” Licano said. “I saw two holes go right through my windshield as I was trying to quickly back up and he just kept shooting and I started bleeding.”
Licano drove away and took refuge at a nearby grocery store.
“He was aiming for my head,” he said of the gunman. “It’s just weird to stare in the face of someone like that. And he didn’t win.”
There has been no word on the motive or if Robert Lewis Dear had any connection to the clinic.
The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood has been targeted by protesters repeatedly. Planned Parenthood itself has been under intense scrutiny and calls for defunding from citizens and politicians alike after a series of videos surfaced alleging the clinic was selling fetal tissue for profit.
Vicki Saporta, president and chief executive of the National Abortion Federation, said her organization had feared such an attack after “highly edited, misleading anti-abortion videos was released in July”.
“This clinic is part of the Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains affiliate, which was featured in one of the highly-edited smear videos released this summer. Since that video, the affiliate has seen an increase in protesters and death threats against one of their doctors.”
“Although anti-abortion groups may condemn this type of violence when it happens, the way that they target and demonize providers contributes to a culture where some feel it is justifiable to murder doctors simply because they provide women with the abortion care they need.”