Man killed in Planned Parenthood shooting was Iraq war veteran

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A look at the three people who were killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado:

COMBAT VETERAN, FATHER

Ke’Arre Stewart, 29, was accompanying someone at the clinic when he was killed, said Amburh Butler, a lifelong friend and family spokeswoman. Stewart leaves behind two girls, 11 and 5, who live in Texas. Stewart and Butler met when they were 11 in Waco, Texas and were high school sweethearts, she said.

They both joined the Army, but Stewart joined first, right after his high school graduation in 2004, she said. He served in the Fourth Infantry Division and was deployed to Iraq, where he would often send her letters describing the horrors he saw on the front lines.

“He would tell me how terrible it was, how many guys he watched die. It was terrible for him,” Butler said. The Army stationed Stewart at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs in 2013, she said. He was discharged from the military the following year. “He went someplace where people expect to die, only to come back . . . and be killed.”

Butler said she last spoke to her friend on Thursday, when he sounded upbeat to be spending Thanksgiving with friends.

“He was just a standup guy, he would take a bullet for you,” Butler said. “He was the most sincere person I’d ever met.”

KIND-HEARTED, LOVABLE PERSON

The father of a Colorado Springs woman says she was accompanying a friend to a Planned Parenthood clinic when she was killed in a shooting rampage.

John Ah-King told The Denver Post that his daughter, Jennifer Markovsky, 36, was one of three people who died Friday when a gunman opened fire. He described Markovsky as a kind-hearted, lovable person with two children.

OFFICER, PASTOR, FIGURE SKATER

Garrett Swasey worked as a police officer at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He was there when he was called to assist with an active shooter at the nearby clinic.

Swasey was married with two children and was a co-pastor at Hope Chapel, an evangelical church in Colorado Springs. He was remembered Sunday by parishioners who watched a video of him ice skating. Before he became a police officer, Swasey was a junior national couples ice dancing champion.

At the University of Colorado, Swasey was known for going out of his way to help, including recently stopping to help someone in a serious car accident just off campus even though he was off duty and headed home, Lt. Marc Pino said.

Pino also recalled that Swasey was disappointed he wasn’t more involved with responding to a wildfire that destroyed over 340 homes and killed two people in 2012.

Swasey was originally from Melrose, Massachusetts. He moved to Colorado in the 1980s to pursue competitive figure skating, his father, David Swasey, told the Boston Globe. He became a police officer six years ago, around the time his daughter was born, he said.

As a skater, Garrett Swasey won a national championship in the junior ranks and competed in the U.S. Championships at least three times, his father said.

KRISTEN WYATT AND SADIE GURMAN, Associated Press

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