We’re learning more about the background of the suspected gunman, arrested Friday by police in the Colorado Springs Robert Lewis Dear, Junior. Dear has ties to the Carolinas.
Dear lived in two homes in Buncombe County North Carolina. One was a trailer in Swannanoa and a cabin in Black Mountain, About 15 miles west of Asheville.
His neighbor in Swannanoa, Robert Adams says he met Dear when he first moved in to this home on Long Branch Road around 2006.
“If you get a picture of him before this and after, it is two different people,” Adams said. “He stayed out there and we never really had any problems with him.”
After that, Adams says he didn’t hear Dear’s name much. That is until he woke up Saturday morning and heard about the deadly Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado.
“I seen the thing go across the bottom on the ticker and it said his name,” Adams said. He couldn’t believe his former neighbor was in custody, accused of carrying out the attack states away.
“Shocked, kind of, because you never know and I didn’t assume he would do anything like that and didn’t give me any kind of outward appearance that he would,” Adams explained.
Neighbors say Dear hadn’t lived here in at least a year. They say when he was there, he kept to himself. He was quiet and they only maybe saw him wave as they drove by.
Buncombe County deputies say they only ever had one call to Dear’s home. He was only cited for letting his dog run loose.
“I mean there is not much you can do, but just be glad that it wasn’t here, but still its bad what he did,” Adams added.
A cross made out of sticks hangs on Dear’s former cabin, where also previously lived on Black Mountain.
His neighbors there didn’t want to go on camera, fearing for their safety. They did tell us Dear wasn’t very social, but he never seemed to be in trouble.
We checked public records and Dear has been arrested in South Carolina for charges including animal cruelty and peeping tom, which have been dropped. Reports also show that Dear had a restraining order against him in South Carolina.
We have reached out to SLED and the North Carolina Bureau of Investigations for more details on his criminal history. We are waiting on their reply.