Colorado shooter described as a ‘loner’
The gunman accused of carrying out a deadly five-hour siege at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the US state of Colorado has been described as a loner with few political or religious leanings.
The 57-year-old man, Robert Lewis Dear, with a bushy white beard shot dead three people, including one police officer, and injured nine others on Friday at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, a center that provides health services including abortions.
“If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive — topics all over place,” James Russell, a neighbor who lives a few hundred feet from Dear’s shack in Black Mountain, North Carolina, told The Associated Press on Saturday.
The shooter had barricaded himself inside the facility before he surrendered to officers. The suspect is in police custody.
“The perpetrator is in custody. The situation has been resolved. There’s no continuing peril to the citizens of Colorado Springs,” Mayor John Suthers told reporters Friday. “But there’s a huge crime scene that has to be processed. We have to determine exactly how many victims there are. We’ll be reporting on that in the near future.”
There is no further information on the suspect or what his motive was for the shooting, said Lt. Catherine Buckley, a Colorado Springs police spokeswoman.
In response to the Friday shooting, President Barack Obama said on Saturday the US needs to “do something” to make it harder for criminals to buy guns.
“We have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period,” Obama said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), firearms are the cause of death for more than 33,000 people in the United States every year, a number that includes accidental discharge, murder and suicides, which are on the increase.
That means firearms kill more people in America every six hours than terrorist attacks did in the entire year of 2014.
Moreover, over 73,000 Americans were treated in hospitals for gun-related injuries in 2010, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
This year is on course to break records. There have been a total of 39,449 gun-related incidents and 9,940 deaths so far in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Of those, 550 were children under 13.