Colo. Shooter Captured And ID’d, There Are 2 Disturbing Things In His Background
With his past still shrouded in mystery, police Saturday were trying to unravel the reasons Robert Lewis Dear came to Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Friday to wage a deadly one-man rampage.
Police arrested the 57-year-old North Carolina man after he took hostages at a Planned Parenthood clinic and fired on police and civilians outside, killing two civilians and a police officer for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
“We don’t have any information on this individual’s mentality, or his ideas or ideology,” Colorado Springs police Lt. Catherine Buckley said Saturday.
Police do not know when or why Dear came to Colorado Springs. No employees of Planned Parenthood were injured, and officials said Dear made no statements about the controversial organization or abortion during the hours-long standoff.
ABC News reported that Dear had lived at least lived part of the time in a cabin near Black Mountain, North Carolina, 15 miles from Asheville, located on a dirt road with no electricity or running water. When the media visited the site on Saturday, a cross made of twigs was nailed to a wall of the cabin. Neighbors said Dear also lived in Swannanoa, North Carolina,
A neighbor said Dear kept mostly to himself, and rambled when he did talk.
“If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive — topics all over place,” neighbor James Russell said, according .
Russell said Dear usually avoided eye contact.
Although media outlets were quick to report the shooting as linked to religion or abortion, Russell said Dear never talked to him about either one.
A search of Dear’s past yielded little in the official records to provide clues to Friday’s shooting. Court records report that in 2002 he was charged with cruelty to animals in North Carolina but later acquitted, according to the Daily Beast. That same year, in South Carolina, he was charged as a peeping Tom, but the charges were dropped.
If Dear’s past is a shrouded in silence, his actions Friday spoke volumes.
“He came out, and we looked each other in the eye, and he started aiming, and then he started shooting,” witness Ozy Licano said, according to The Associated Press. “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.”