Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued a blunt opinion about the shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs that left several dead and injured, calling the incident an attack on women and offering state and local law enforcement the backing of the federal government.
“This unconscionable attack was not only a crime against the Colorado Springs community, but a crime against women receiving health care services at Planned Parenthood, law enforcement seeking to protect and serve, and other innocent people,” she said, in a statement reported by Mediaite.
Lynch also called the attack an “assault on the rule of law,” and said the federal government was ready to assist in any way needed.
“We stand ready to offer any and all assistance to the district attorney and state and local law enforcement as they move forward with their investigation,” Lynch said. “And in the days ahead, our thoughts and prayers will be with the victims of this horrific attack, including [police] officer Garrett Swasey, who gave his life in order to keep others safe.”
She then wished “peace and strength” for the family members of the three killed, one of whom was a 29-year-old father of two, Ke’Arre Stewart, and another, a 36-year-old mother of two, Jennifer Markovsky. Stewart was an Army veteran who had served in Iraq while Markovsky was reportedly at the Planned Parenthood clinic to support a friend, NPR reported.
The third to die was Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey, 44, who was also a father of two.
Robert Lewis Dear, the man arrested for the shootings at the clinic, is due in court on Monday for a preliminary hearing.
The shootings, which also left nine injured, have turned political, with many on the Democratic side accusing the Republicans of sparking the violence with calls for redress of the Planned Parenthood videos on baby parts’ sales. But others have found common ground, despite differences of political opinions.
As CNN reported, Planned Parenthood Chief Experience Officer Dawn Laguens commented on the incident by saying, “I think there’s a lot of belief that this qualifies as a form of domestic terrorism.”
And that viewpoint was repeated by Republican presidential hopeful and former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee.
“What he did is domestic terrorism,” Huckabee said, CNN reported, “and what he did is absolutely abominable, especially to us in the pro-life movement because there’s nothing about any of us that would condone or in any way look the other way on something like this.”