Planned Parenthood shooting: Victims spent final moments helping others

Planned Parenthood shooting: More details have emerged about the three victims, all parents of young children.

David Zalubowski/AP
Members of Hope Chapel take part in service early Sunday, in northeast Colorado Springs, Colo. University of Colorado-Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey, who was one of the three victims of a shooting at a nearby Planned Parenthood clinic Friday, was a member of the congregation.

In the days after a shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood on Friday left three people dead and nine injured, details are starting to emerge about the victims.

Ke'Arre Stewart, was a veteran and father of two girls, “the most sincere person,” a lifelong friend said she had ever met. Jennifer Markovsky was a 35-year-old married mother of two, originally from Hawaii. Her father called her “kind-hearted” and “lovable.” And Garrett Swasey, also married and father of two, was a police officer, co-pastor at Hope Chapel, an evangelical church in Colorado Springs, and formerly a competitive figure skater from Massachusetts.

Mr. Swasey’s parishioners gathered on Sunday to remember him, an officer known for going out of his way to help. Recently, he stopped to help someone in a serious car accident near campus even though he was off duty and headed home, Lt. Marc Pino told the Associated Press.

On Sunday, the parishioners watched a video of him ice skating.

"You don't realize how much you love someone until you can't tell them anymore," co-pastor Scott Dontanville, who preached yesterday, said, reported NBC News.

"It's unbelievable,” Mr. Dontanville said. “He was just standing there – our last time we gathered together – playing guitar."

Swasey, who was married, died after being called from his job as a police officer at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs to assist with an active shooter at the nearby clinic.

Ms. Markovsky’s father, John Ah-King, said she was at the Planned Parenthood clinic to accompany a friend. Mr. Ah-King, who lives in Hawaii, where his daughter grew up, said she moved to Colorado a few years ago, reports the Denver Post.

He found out about her death from his other daughter.

"I couldn't believe it," Ah-King told the Post through sobs. "I just messaged her Thursday to say happy Thanksgiving."

Mr. Stewart was also accompanying someone at the clinic, reported the AP. He was shot after stepping outside of the clinic to get cell phone service, according to his brother Leyonte Chandler.

Mr. Chandler told NBC that his brother, an Iraq War veteran, ran back inside the building after being shot to warn others to take cover.

"I believe that's his military instinct, you know: Leave no soldier behind, leave no civilian behind, just leave no one behind," Chandler told NBC.

"So he ran back inside, trying to help out others,” he continued. “I don't know where he was at, as far as how many more breaths he had, but he knew. And before his time ran out I guess that was his main priority ... to help and save other lives."

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

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