HARTSEL, Colo. -- The Planned Parenthood suspected gunman Robert Dear’s residence is about 40 miles from Colorado Springs, in the town of Hartsel. It’s a desolate area with few neighbors.
“I just don’t understand how you could wake up in the morning in this beautiful area and then go load up your truck and go into Colorado Springs and do something like that,” Hartsel resident and neighbor Zigmond Post said.
Dear’s RV remains parked on his plot of land just 50 yards off Highway 24.
“How many thousands of people drive by that house everyday and saw that guy and wouldn’t think that we was going to go into Colorado Springs and do something like that,” Post said.
Records indicate Dear moved to Colorado and bought the plot of land in October of 2014. The few residents in the area say Dear and a woman living with him were not like the other neighbors.
“There’s like six of us that hang out around here and we all talk to each other and hang out, but they are not a part of our clique,” Post added.
Post moved to Hartsel in May and recalls his first interaction with Dear. He said his dogs got loose and Dear handed him anti-Obama literature.
“We went and got the dogs but didn’t introduce names or anything like that. He handed us some Obama flyers and said if you have time to take a look at this later,” Post said.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers says Dear’s motive is still under investigation.
“You can certainly infer what it may have been in terms of where it took place and the manner in which it took place,” Suthers said. “But we don’t have any confirmation from any of the investigation yet as to what the precise motive was.”
According to the Washington Post, Dear has had numerous run-ins with the law. Including incidents reported by neighbors in North Carolina, where they say he hasn’t returned to his residence in over a year.
The neighbors in Hartsel remain in shock.
“Blown away,” Post said. “That little shack over there – that guy was capable of doing something like that.”
Dear is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Monday in El Paso County.