November 27th, 2015 is a day people in Colorado would like to forget. Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the 57-year-old perpetrator, armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire and began shooting at officers as they rushed to the scene. He killed three people and injured nine people. The shooting came at a time when Planned Parenthood had been criticized because of surreptitious videos made by anti-abortion groups of officials discussing using fetal organs for research.

Planned Parenthood Office of the Rocky Mountain in Colorado Springs, CO. Photo courtesy of The Denver Post
Planned Parenthood Office of the Rocky Mountain in Colorado Springs, Co. Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

It transformed a shopping area near the clinic into chaos as snow fell and gunshots rang through the parking lot. Black-clad tactical officers stood guard with guns in hand, ambulances lined up and dozens of shoppers and employees were ordered to stay away from windows and lock their businesses’ doors.

Dear was arrested with 179 felony counts including first-degree murder. Five months forward, Planned Parenthood in Colorado had a message for their detractors: “We deplore your violence. We reject your threats. We aren’t going anywhere.” Their message was loud and clear to the public. Throughout the months after the shooting, workers at the Centennial Boulevard clinic repaired significant damage from bullets and efforts by local law enforcement to stop Dear by ramming the front of the building with an armored vehicle.

It was a time for healing for the employees and Vicki Cowart Agrees. Cowart, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, didn’t go into detail regarding better protection against potential attackers in the future but suggest the clinic will be slightly monitored. The building reopens this week even though patients have been attending the clinic since February.

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