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‘US shooter apparently targeted clinic that does abortions’

Handout still image taken from video shows people standing around a police van after a shooting in New York

Washington: The bearded drifter accused of being America’s latest random killer apparently made a family planning clinic that does abortions his specific target, the mayor of the town rocked by the shooting said today.

Details have begun to trickle out about what may have driven the suspect, Robert Lewis Dear, 57, to go on a rampage with a high-powered rifle at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing three people.

The clinic performs abortions — a highly emotive and divisive practice in America.

NBC News, citing two law enforcement officials, reported Saturday that, when questioned after his arrest, Dear mentioned “no more baby parts” in reference to Planned Parenthood.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday talk show that police have yet to disclose what Dear told them under interrogation as to his motive.

But when asked if he thought Planned Parenthood was targeted, Suthers said: “It certainly appears that way.” He declined to comment on the alleged “baby parts” remark.

The president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, Vicki Cowart, also said her organization seems to have been targeted by Dear.

“It does appear that it does — it was targeted at us, from what we’ve heard,” Cowart told the same ABC current affairs program.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said the shooting was a form of terrorism, and that America needed to debate toning down what he called inflammatory rhetoric on sensitive issues like abortion that cause people to run amok.

“I mean so many issues now, there are bloggers and, you know, talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over. Just intense anger,” the governor told CNN.

He said his information was that the two civilians killed were a man and a woman.

Planned Parenthood — a major provider of women’s health services that receives funding from the government — offers preventive checkups, contraceptives and abortions.

It has 700 clinics around the United States and has been violently targeted before.

Critics, many of whom seek to outlaw abortion in the United States, have falsely accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal organs and body parts for profit, and encouraging women to have abortions in order to expand such operations.