It was widely reported that the suspected shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, told authorities in Colorado Springs “no more baby parts” after his arrest, leading to suspicion that the shooter had been at least partly motivated by months of Republican denunciations of Planned Parenthood.
Republican candidates for president denied there was any link between the shooting and their vehement, often visceral anti-abortion rhetoric. “This is so typical of the left to immediately demonize the messenger, because they don’t agree with the message,” said Carly Fiorina, who had made headlines in September for incorrectly claiming that an undercover video of Planned Parenthood showed “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” Ted Cruz, meanwhile, said the shooter was a “transgendered leftist activist,” before asserting, “I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”
Three people were killed and nine injured in the shooting. The slain were identified as Ke’Arre Stewart, an Iraq War veteran and father of two; Jennifer Markovsky, a mother of two who had gone to the Planned Parenthood to assist a friend; and Officer Garrett Swasey, also a father of two and a co-pastor of his church who was reportedly personally opposed to abortion.