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1 Year Later: Attack In Colorado That Shook America

By Rick Sallinger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - It was an attack that shook America. On a frigid November day the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was under siege by a man named Robert Dear who later spoke to CBS 4'S Rick Sallinger from jail. He claimed his attack saved the lives of unborn fetuses.

"They got 4,000 babies get aborted every day. I guarantee you they had a lot of cancellations and I might have saved a 1,000," Dear said.

He took three lives in the process -- Jennifer Markovsk, Ke'arre Stewart and University of Colorado officer Garrett Swasey.

Planned Parenthood Attack Victims Garrett Swasey Ke'Arre Stewart Jennifer Markovsky
Garrett Swasey, Ke'Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky (credit: CBS)

The law enforcement officer was to be honored at a basketball game on the UCCS campus one year to the day after he answered a call for assistance.

Karen Middleton heads NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado which is part of a coalition with Planned Parenthood. She feels the admitted killer is competent and his actions amounted to domestic terrorism.

"He planned it, made a vest, made propane, all sorts of things are premeditated and I think he should be standing trial," she said.

Dear is now in the state hospital after once again being found not competent for trial.

Robert Lewis Dear
Robert Lewis Dear in court (credit: CBS)

"Did that attack succeed in discouraging abortions?" Middleton was asked by CBS4's Rick Sallinger. "No, it did not really. We can try to impact and use violence but this is part of women's health care and always has been."

The clinic reopened in full earlier this year. For this sad anniversary Planned Parenthood issued a statement from spokesperson Carmen Feldman.

"We remember those who were lost, hope for those who were injured, and give thanks to those who provided us comfort and support," the statement said.

(credit: Colorado Springs Police)

As for the defendant in this case, it is not when, if ever, Robert Dear will be found competent to stand trial. Back in January 2016 he was asked if he wanted to apologize for his actions.

"Apologies? Oh no. I say they are going to execute me that will be apology enough," he said.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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