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Planned Parenthood shooter faces federal charges for killing 3 people in Colorado attack

A federal grand jury in Denver has indicted Robert Lewis Dear in connection with the 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, CBS Denver reported Monday. The 68-count indictment said Dear was "intending to wage 'war'" on Planned Parenthood because it offered abortion services.

The indictment alleges Dear, now 61, traveled to the clinic with four SKS rifles, five handguns, two additional rifles, a shotgun, more than 500 rounds of ammunition and propane tanks on November 27, 2015. The court document claims he first went up to a car with three occupants parked next to his truck and told them words to the effect of, "You shouldn't have come here today." He then allegedly opened fire, killing one and seriously injuring the two others.

He is then accused of shooting at three other people, killing one and injuring another. The indictment claims Dear then forced his way into the Planned Parenthood clinic. Occupants of the clinic hid, but one was shot through a wall. A standoff with police lasted five hours, and Dear fired 198 bullets, according to the indictment.

Dear also allegedly placed a propane tank in the parking lot and shot the tank in an attempt to create an explosion.

Three people were killed during the attack, including a police officer, and nine others were injured. "The dozens of victims of this heinous act, as well as the Colorado Springs community itself, deserve justice," U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn said Monday.

Dear has repeatedly been found incompetent to stand trial on Colorado state charges and has been residing at the state hospital in Pueblo. He has been previously charged with 179 state counts, including murder and attempted murder.

Some of the new federal charges include use of a firearm during a crime resulting in death and violating a law ensuring access to clinic entrances. Dunn announced the federal grand jury indictment Monday and said in a statement that if convicted of the counts, Dear faces a maximum penalty up to and including death. In the absence of death, Dear could face a minimum of 10 years and up to life imprisonment.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said in a statement Monday that the federal case was separate from its case, and that Dear's competency would next be evaluated in January as scheduled, according to CBS Colorado Springs affiliate KKTV.

"As one of the many responding agencies, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has worked closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado since November 27, 2015," said 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May. "The indictment, which is fully supported by our office, is a culmination of those joint efforts, and we hope shall serve as notice that the victims in this case will never be forgotten. We want to thank the U.S. Attorney's Office for their diligent work."

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