NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Security remains tight at Planned Parenthood locations throughout New York as the man accused of opening fire at a clinic in Colorado Springs is due in court for his first appearance Monday.
In the wake of the deadly attack Friday, the NYPD has deployed critical response units to guard clinics in the city.READ MORE: Coroner Confirms Remains Found Are Gabby Petito's, Says Manner Of Death Is A Homicide As Search Resumes For Brian Laundrie
Joan Malin, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City, said they have always had a close, working relationship with law enforcement.
“It helps people feel good that they know that there’s security and that there’s an added presence and that while this may have happened more than 2,000 miles away, we all take this very, very seriously,” she told CBS2’s Diane Macedo.
In addition to the NYPD presence in the city, state police will also be visiting the roughly 60 clinics throughout New York State Monday to discuss longer term security and emergency planning.
There will also be increased police patrols at those clinics.
Meanwhile, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear appeared before a judge in a video hearing Monday afternoon.
Dear stood next to his attorney and answered basic questions from a judge, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
Dear is accused of killing Officer Garrett Swasey and two civilians, Iraq war veteran Ke’Arre Stewart and mother of two Jennifer Markovsky, who were accompanying separate friends to the clinic.
The rampage touched off an hours-long standoff and shootout that also left nine other people in the hospital.
So far his motives remain unclear, but Dear allegedly told officers after his arrest, “no more baby parts” a reference to video that came out earlier this year, allegedly about planned parenthood.
Stewart had stepped outside the clinic to make a call when he was shot. He warned everyone inside to take cover and called 911.
“Almost half a million people here and it happened to be my brother out of all these people,” his brother, Leyonte Chandler, said. “Random.”
On Sunday, friends and family remembered Swasey, a 44-year-old father of two.READ MORE: 7 Pedestrians Hurt After Being Struck By A Vehicle In The Bronx; Hunt Continues For Driver, Passenger
Malin called the incident “a tremendous tragedy and loss.”
“We all feel keenly what’s going on in Colorado,” she said.
Dear has been described by acquaintances as a reclusive loner. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was with police as they watched Dear through security cameras inside the clinic.
“Very calm and deliberate,” he said. “He would occasionally pull up a chair, sit down for a period of time. It looked like to me that he was trying to situate himself to get maximum access of doors that police may come through but he was never running.”
His ex-wife told the New York Times, “he believed that abortion was wrong,” but said “it was never really a topic of discussion.”
Sources also said they believe the suspected gunman planned to kill even more people, saying he had several guns and apparently intended to shoot propane tanks to set off a series of explosions.
Over the weekend, investigators searched his white trailer in a remote area 60 miles west of Colorado Springs.
Before that he lived in a cabin in North Carolina without any electricity.
Planned Parenthood said witnesses believe the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion. Suthers said it’s unclear whether the shooting was intended to send an ideological message.
“That may or may not be the case here. We just have to see how things unravel,” Suthers said.
The debate over Planned Parenthood was reignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the group’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs.
The organization has denied seeking any payments beyond legally permitted reimbursement of the costs for donating the organs to researchers.
Dear’s public defender is the same lawyer who represented Colorado theater gunman James Holmes.MORE NEWS: Blind Brook Board Meeting Gets Heated Over Continued Closure Of Ridge Street Elementary School
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