AFP Photo / Colorado Springs Police Department

Planned Parenthood shooting suspect faces murder charges

Robert Lewis Dear, 57, faces multiple counts of first-degree murder

The gunman accused of killing three people and wounding nine at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs over the weekend was arraigned in court on Monday.

The suspect, Robert Lewis Dear, 57, appeared before a judge in a brief video hearing, standing next to public defender Daniel King. He's the same lawyer who represented Colorado theater shooting gunman James Holmes.

Dear wore a white vest and blinked periodically as the judge spoke to him. He only spoke once, saying "no questions" when the judge asked him if he had any questions about the multiple first-degree murder charges he faces.

After Monday's hearing, District Attorney Dan May said Dear could face other charges, but he did not elaborate.

As details emerged of the two civilians who died alongside a police officer in Friday afternoon's rampage, more was learned about what happened when Dear, a South Carolina native who moved to Colorado recently, stormed the building.

Ke'Arre Stewart, a 29-year-old Iraq War veteran, was struck by a bullet outside the center after walking out to talk on his cellphone. Wounded, he ran back in to warn others to take cover, his brother Leyonte Chandler told NBC News. Stewart died of his wound.

"I believe that's his military instinct," NBC News quoted Chandler as saying. "Before his time ran out, I guess that was his main priority ... to help and save other lives."

Paul Markovsky, whose wife Jennifer died of a gunshot wound, released a statement Monday, saying she was deeply loved by everyone who knew her. He remembers her reading to their kids and helping them with their homework, and he says he will miss her cooking, crafting and adventurous spirit.

Planned Parenthood already was on heightened alert against threats of violence nationwide, and some affiliates say they will scrutinize their security measures further.

Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, several U.S. media outlets said Dear made a "no more baby parts" comment to investigators after surrendering. Planned Parenthood said the alleged comment showed he had an anti-abortion agenda.

Conservatives have accused Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that provides a range of health services, including abortion, of illegally selling baby parts, an accusation it strongly denies.

While Dear's reported remark could show a motive, the sources stressed in the reports that police were still not sure why he launched the attack. Authorities have declined to discuss a motive, saying the investigation continues.

Friday's rampage is believed to have been the first deadly attack at an abortion provider in the United States in six years. The Colorado Springs center has been repeatedly targeted for protests by anti-abortion activists.

Justice Department officials have joined the investigation by state and local authorities, raising the possibility that the federal government could bring terrorism or civil rights charges against Dear.

Wire services

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