LONGMONT, Colo. — Longmont Public Safety (LPS) and the FBI are investigating a fire at an abortion alternatives ministry as arson.
LPS said officers responded to a reported fire at Life Choices on Mountain View Avenue at 3:17 a.m. Saturday.
Life Choices describes itself on its website as "a Christ-centered ministry providing education, support, healing, and limited medical services for sexual life choices."
"They're a resource in our community, they've been around a long time, and they do a lot of good in our community," said Longmont Police Chief Jeff Satur.
Satur said the building sustained fire and heavy smoke damage and that the front of the building was vandalized with black paint.
The vandalism includes pro-abortion rights messages including "if abortions aren't safe neither are you" and "bans off our bodies."
The fire broke out less than 24 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Chief Satur said right now there are no suspects in the case but the motive seems pretty clear.
"It's not lost on us the Roe versus Wade Supreme Court decision – the connections are there," Satur said. "We're well aware of likely why this happened."
According to Satur, surveillance video from nearby homeowners has already helped with the investigation, which he calls one of his department's highest priorities.
"There are other ways of getting your message out. This is a terrible way and it's a very serious crime to burn a business," Satur said.
This isn't the first time that the Roe v. Wade decision has resulted in vandalism in the Denver metro area.
Last month, shortly after a draft version of the decision was publicly leaked, someone spray-painted messages in support of abortion rights on two Catholic churches: one in Boulder, the other in Fort Collins. Police have not yet said if any of the incidents are connected.
Police are asking people who live between Collyer Street and Lashley Street and between 15th Avenue and 11th Avenue in Longmont to check their surveillance video for any activity in the area between 2:45 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.
Video can be uploaded here.
Anyone who can help identify the people responsible for the damage is asked to call 303-774-3700 and reference Longmont Police Report #22-5219.
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