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Monday marks two years since Planned Parenthood shooting - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Monday marks two years since Planned Parenthood shooting

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Photo: JEREMY SPARIG Photo: JEREMY SPARIG
COLORADO SPRINGS -

It's now been two years since three people were killed and nine more were wounded in a shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood on Black Friday.

University of Colorado Springs police officer 44-year-old Garrett Swasey, 36-year-old Jennifer Markovsky and 29-year-old Ke'Arre Stewart were all killed in the shooting on Nov. 27, 2014. The first reports of shots fired came in at 11:38 a.m. at the Planned Parenthood location at Centennial and Fillmore. 

As police responded, the gunman, later identified as Robert Dear, opened fire with an AK-47 type weapon.

Dear stayed inside the facility for more than five hours before police arrested him at 4:52 p.m. that day.

Swasey was born in Melrose, Massachusetts. After a successful career in ice skating, Garrett found his calling as a police officer working with UCCS. He was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs after his funeral at New Life church on Dec. 4, 2015.

Two years later, UCCS is honoring Swasey during a ceremony Monday night and through a scholarship in his name to benefit future students at the university.


Ke’Arre Stewart was enlisted in the Army from 2004 to 2013 and was the father of two children. He was described as a "good guy" and "soft spoken."

Tony Fisher, a friend of Stewart's, told News 5 that he and Stewart met while they were both stationed at Fort Hood in Texas. They lost touch and had reconnected shortly before the shooting.

"He was somebody who had a lot of life to live,” Fisher said in 2015. “We leave the war understanding, or assuming, none of our friends are going to die anymore, and that's not the case here.”

Stewart was laid to rest in Texas.


Jennifer Markovsky, a Hawaii native and mother of two, was accompanying a friend at Planned Parenthood when she was shot and killed. Family members said they remember her as a loving mother.

"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of my wife," Markovsky's husband, Paul, said in a statement after she died. "She was a very caring and compassionate person, and a patient and understanding parent.  She was deeply loved by all who knew her. She was always helping the kids do homework and reading books with them.  We will miss her; her cooking, crafting and adventurous spirit."


The Planned Parenthood location sustained extensive damage during the attack. It later reopened on Feb. 15, 2016, a little less than three months after the shooting.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains issued a statement Monday, commenting on the anniversary of the attacks. It read:

"Today we remember the patients, colleagues, families, and first-responders who were impacted by the violent incident at our Colorado Springs health center in 2015. Our hearts are with them and their loved ones, and we remain grateful for the continued support we have received from our community.

Now, two years later, we stand as resolved as ever in our conviction that every person in this community, and this country, deserves access to health care and education without fear of harassment or violence. During this holiday season, I remain thankful for our strong, unified community that we have built together. I am proud to stand alongside you everyday. Thank you for your generosity in helping make that possible."


As for Robert Dear, he was ruled not competent to stand trial last Tuesday and has not yet faced trial. Dear is charged with 179 counts, including murder and attempted murder.

Police say Dear admitted to the attack and told investigators he attacked the clinic due to his beliefs about abortion.

Since then, repeated court appearances have not centered around a possible start day for a trial, but instead questioning his mental state.

Last Tuesday, two psychologists testified he has a delusion disorder, which they said keeps him from trusting almost anyone.

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