After a shooter killed three people and wounded nine others on Friday, his motivations have been called into question by critics of Planned Parenthood who allege that the healthcare provider was not the target.
While the Inquisitr, CNN, and other outlets have reported that the Colorado shooter targeted Planned Parenthood and that the shooting was in fact politically motivated, conservative outlets including Fox News, Breitbart, and LifeNews have claimed otherwise.
In the confusion following the initial news of the shooting, Fox News tweeted that the shooter was in fact firing from a bank, rather than Planned Parenthood. Anti-abortion activists on Twitter and Facebook have since taken the story and run with it, while Fox News has distanced itself from the claim, as more facts emerge.
Catherine Herridge: “We do not have intelligence… that would suggest that there was a specific threat directed towards #PlannedParenthood.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 28, 2015
“Witness accounts claim the shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic actually began at a nearby Chase Bank location,” Breitbart reports.
Additionally, Fox News broadcast an eyewitness interview with a woman who said she first thought it was a bank robbery, due to the proximity of the Chase Bank location.
Chase responded to the allegations on Friday, tweeting that the shooting was not at a Chase Bank location and it was not directed at their organization. Nor was it a bank robbery.
@TrevorHughes This incident wasn't at Chase. Please DM us if you need more information. Our thoughts are with all those affected. ^JS
— Chase (@Chase) November 28, 2015
Fifty-nine-year-old Robert Dear opened fire at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Friday, killing three people including a police officer and wounding nine others before being taken into custody. Robert Dear is known to police as a fervent anti-abortion activist.
Colorado Springs police have confirmed that the shooting took place, in its entirety, within the Planned Parenthood clinic, and the Chase Bank location was not involved in any way. After the confirmation this morning, Erick Erickson, the editor of RedState.com distanced himself from his initial reports that the shooting coverage, focusing on Planned Parenthood, was an effort by the “left” to shift the conversation away from Muslim extremism in Europe following the Paris attacks.
Erickson has since deleted that tweet, Think Progress reports, and says that he offers prayers for the police and victims of the shooting.
With reports now that there is shooting inside Planned Parenthood, I deleted that tweet. Prayers for the police and victims offered instead.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) November 27, 2015
The Colorado Springs clinic had been the target of many protests and threats in recent months, as evidenced by the fact that the building is stocked with bullet proof vests and contains a safe room. Employees receive regular active-shooter training alongside fire and earthquake drills.
The Colorado Springs facility had been the subject of large protests over the summer, as the director of the Rocky Mountains arm of Planned Parenthood was one of several officials featured on a series of videos released by anti-abortion groups, alleging that the healthcare provider mistreated misused fetal remains. The videos have since been debunked, but Colorado Springs had continued to be a hotbed of anti-abortion protest activity.
Vicky Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of The Rocky Mountains, stated that while protests and vague threats were common, they had no specific or credible threat to suggest that the shooting would occur.
“We had no reason to suspect anything,” she told the New York Times.
The New York Times reports that the vests were still in the security room when police arrived, and one may have been worn by the shooter.
The shooting began at 11:38 a.m. on Friday and continued for nearly four hours, until the shooter was finally taken into custody by Colorado Springs police.
The New York Times reports that the shooter was focused on the Planned Parenthood clinic, but shot at anyone he saw. On his way into the clinic, he fired into nearby stores, shooting at people who hid behind their cars in the parking lot.
[Photo by Getty Images]