Planned Parenthood Shooting: Remembering the lives lost in Colorado Springs a year later

Posted at 12:58 PM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-27 22:26:11-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- It's been a year since the lives of dozens in Colorado Springs were changed forever, after a gunman stormed a Planned Parenthood clinic and opened fire, killing three people and injuring nine others, including five Colorado Springs Police Department officers.

The shooting was first reported at approximately 11:38 a.m. at the Planned Parenthood-Rocky Mountains clinic, located on the north side of the city, on Nov. 27, 2015. 

During the almost six-hour standoff, officers evacuated numerous people from other areas of the two-story building and interviewed them for information. 

Not everyone was able to make out alive. 

UCCS Office Garret Swasey, a loving father and pastor

UCCS Police Officer Garrett Swasey, 44, was a family man and church pastor as well as a champion ice skater who loved playing the guitar.

Those who knew Swasey said they're not surprised that the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs officer chose to rush to the shooting scene when he heard police needed help.

"He was willing to take that risk, that cost," said Scott Dontanville, a co-pastor with Swasey at Hope Chapel days following his death. "That wasn’t just his job, that was his calling as a Christian."

Originally from Boston, he moved to Colorado Springs in the early 90's to train at the Olympic Training Center as a champion ice dancer before retiring and moving into law enforcement, according to a fundraising site set up for Swasey's family.

Swasey was a 6-year veteran with the UCCS Police Department. He is survived by his wife, Rachel, and his two children. 

A scholarship fund was created in his name at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Jennifer Markovsky, remembered as kind-hearted person

Jennifer Markovsky, 36, was accompanying a friend to the clinic when she was killed that day, her father, John Ah-King, told our partners at the Denver Post a few days after the shooting.

"She was the most lovable person," Ah-King told the newspaper from his home in Hawaii. "So kind-hearted, just always there when I needed her."

Markovsky's sister-in-law, Julia Miller, said Markovsky was "a sweet person, very kind to everyone."

Ke'Arre Stewart was always there for friends

Ke'Arre Stewart, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, was among the three killed at the clinic. 

Ke'Arre, 29, graduated from La Vega High School in Texas in 2004 and joined the Army, said friend Amburh Butler. Stewart was stationed at Fort Hood and did one tour in Iraq.

Butler, also 29, had been friends with Stewart since they were 11 years old.

"He was a stand-up guy," she said. "If you were hungry, he fed you. If you were cold and needed a ride, he was just there. He was a good friend and an amazing listener."

He is survived by his two children. 


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