The suspect in the Planned Parenthood shooting has a lengthy history of encounters with police over issues such as domestic violence and animal cruelty, multiple outlets reported on Saturday.
Robert Lewis Dear was identified by Colorado Springs police as the man who allegedly entered a Planned Parenthood clinic, killed three people and injured nine others. He is 57 years old and lived part-time in a secluded North Carolina cabin. Police also said that he had an address in Hartsel, CO.
A neighbor of Dear's in North Carolina told the Associated Press that the cabin has no electricity or running water, and that Dear was an erratic man.
"If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive — topics all over place," the neighbor, James Russell, said.
If Dear's conversation was inconsistent, his run-ins with law enforcement were very consistent indeed, as BuzzFeed reported:
Public records reviewed by BuzzFeed News indicate Robert Lewis Dear Jr. has been investigated as many as nine times in North and South Carolina, on traffic infractions, two misdemeanors for cruelty to animals (for which he was found not guilty during a bench trial), and for being a peeping tom (which was dismissed at a preliminary hearing).
He was also interviewed by police in South Carolina in 1997, after his wife claimed that he had hit her and then pushed her out of a window. She did not press charges.
In 2004, a neighbor reported that Dear had threatened him, according to the Daily Beast.
Cruelty to animals appears to have been a recurring theme in Dear's life. The AP spoke to several neighbors of his in North Carolina, who said "the only companion they saw with Dear was a mangy dog, who looked to be in such bad shape they called animal control because they worried he was beating it."
Though Dear attacked a highly politicized location, authorities have refrained from ascribing any concrete political motive for his actions. However, BuzzFeed spoke to a man in Colorado who said that Dear had once handed him an anti-Obama pamphlet and said that Obama should be impeached.