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In Colorado Springs, Residents Turn To Prayer And Healing After Attacks

MICHEL MARTIN: In the aftermath of a shooting in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, residents are moving on with their daily lives while remembering the victims of the attack. Darlene Asuda spent her afternoon shopping at a King Soopers grocery store near the clinic.

DARLENE ASUDA: Those poor people in there are just like me. I work in a surgery department. And I go to work every day, I never expect to be killed for trying to deliver care, no matter what that care is. I mean, we're all just trying to make a living and do our job and care for people. And that was a horrible thing, you know?

MARTIN: Three people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Friday. The victims were University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey, 29-year-old Ke'Arre Stewart, a U.S. Army veteran who served a tour of duty in Iraq and Jennifer Markovsky, who was a reporter originally from Hawaii. She was 36. Nine others were injured in the attack. Some were released from local hospitals today. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers others told reporters at a makeshift memorial that his city will get through the attack as it has other devastating events.


JOHN SUTHERS: It's a very resilient community. In the last couple of years, we went through a huge wildfire that destroyed several-hundred homes. We've been through some fairly severe flooding, and the community rallied through those kind of things. And there's no question they're going to rally through this.

MARTIN: Police have identified the shooter as 57-year-old Robert Dear, who is in custody without bond. This morning at Hope Chapel Church in Colorado Springs, pastor Scott Dontanville prayed for the shooter.


SCOTT DONTANVILLE: I pray for his soul, Lord. Wherever he may be, I pray that you would sovereignly move on his heart, open his eyes.

MARTIN: Pastor Dontanville, who was a close friend of slain officer Garrett Swasey, offered messages of hope to his congregation.


DONTANVILLE: We're going to be rejoicing in hope because God can turn our sorrows into joy, right? God can turn our grief into greatness in Him and hope if we come together and we seek him together in His word.

MARTIN: Authorities say it will take six to seven days to complete their evaluation of the crime scene. Friday's shooting is the first deadly attack on a U.S. abortion provider in six years. The Colorado Springs facility has frequently drawn protesters over the years. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said on CNN today that America's need to find a way to tone down their rhetoric on some of the country's most polarizing issues.


JOHN HICKENLOOPER: I think we should have a discussion of, you know, at least urging caution when we discuss some of these issues so that we don't get people to a point of going out and committing senseless violence.

MARTIN: Robert Dear is scheduled to make his first appearance in court tomorrow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.