Remembering The Victims Of The Planned Parenthood Shooting In Colorado

Nov 30, 2015
Originally published on November 30, 2015 6:26 pm
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Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We now know the names of the three people who died in Friday's shooting rampage at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. They are 36-year-old Jennifer Markovsky, 29-year-old Ke'Arre Stewart and 44-year-old police officer Garrett Swasey. In a moment, we'll hear from a doctor who provides abortions about the effects the shooting has had on her work and family. First, NPR's Kirk Siegler from Colorado Springs with more on Friday's victims.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: There's a snowy parking lot across from the Planned Parenthood clinic. And here, beneath a strip of yellow police tape, people have started lying wreathes and placing bouquets of flowers and candles in the fresh snow. One sign reads, our thoughts and prayers to Ke'Arre Stewart, Jennifer Markovsky and Officer Garrett Swasey. In memory, it says.

ANTHONY FISHER: He was a hero.

SIEGLER: Anthony Fisher says he served in the Army with one of the victims, Ke'Arre Stewart, for a year when their infantry division was deployed to Iraq. The two first met at Fort Hood in Texas. Ke'Arre Stewart grew up in Waco. Fisher says they bumped into each other a few months ago in Colorado Springs and reconnected.

FISHER: I would like him to be remembered for the good guy that he was, not that he was shot out in front of a controversial health clinic.

SIEGLER: Ke'Arre Stewart's friends have said today on social media that he was accompanying a friend to Planned Parenthood when the shooting rampage started. They said Stewart was shot outside the clinic, then managed to run in and warn people to take cover. Stewart, who was 29, was a father of two. He was described as selfless, caring and funny. Anthony Fisher says Stewart had been over at his house for Thanksgiving dinner the night before the shooting.

FISHER: It's very unfortunately that we lose people after fighting for years in combat to come die senselessly in Colorado Springs, Colo., you know? It doesn't make any sense at all.

SIEGLER: Like Stewart, 36-year-old victim Jennifer Markovsky was also at Planned Parenthood that day, reportedly to accompany a friend to the clinic. Markovsky was a mother of two who grew up in Hawaii. She's said to have moved to Colorado Springs when her husband was stationed here. Markovsky's father told The Denver Post that she was the most lovable person - kind-hearted and always there when you need her.

It's been less than a day since these two victims' names were released, but already, there are fundraisers supporting their families being set up online by close friends. A hundred-thousand dollars has already been raised for the family of Garrett Swasey. He was the campus police officer who responded to the scene at Planned Parenthood a couple miles outside his jurisdiction. Scott Dontonville was a friend from his church where Swasey had served as a co-pastor. He spoke at a vigil.

SCOTT DONTONVILLE: I look at that sign up there, and that is that smile that I remember Garrett, on his face.

SIEGLER: Originally from Boston, Swasey first moved to Colorado Springs as a professional ice skater to train at the U.S. Olympic complex here. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. Memorials for all three of the shooting victims are being planned. Kirk Siegler, NPR News, Colorado Springs. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.