Law enforcement officers lined up to escort the body of Officer Garrett Swasey from the coroner's office Tuesday afternoon just half an hour before the man accused of opening fire at a Planned Parenthood went before a judge for the first time.
Swasey was killed while responding to the shooting.
A quiet afternoon was interrupted when a suspected gunman opened fire in Colorado Springs. The shooting led to a standoff that lasted more than five hours at the Planned Parenthood near Fillmore and Centennial.
A UCCS police officer, 44-year-old Garrett Swasey, rushed to the scene to help fellow officers. He was killed in the line of duty. Swasey worked with the UCCS police department for six years. The campus says officers are sworn, state-certified police officers.
UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley Zalabak, released a statement. It says, "It is with great sadness that I share that the tragic events today at the offices of Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs have touched the campus of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs."
Colorado Springs police confirm three people were killed. Police say nine others were hospitalized. Of those, police say five officers and four civilians were injured.
Swasey's family released a statement Sunday:
Statement by Rachel Swasey, wife, Officer Garrett Swasey
The family of Officer Garrett Swasey sincerely thanks everyone for their support during this very difficult time. Our loss cannot be expressed in words. While the nation now knows Garrett as a hero who gave his life for others, he was also a devoted husband of 17 years and a wonderful father to his two children. His greatest joys were his family, his church, and his profession. We will cherish his memory, especially those times he spent tossing the football to his son and snuggling with his daughter on the couch.
Garrett was born in Melrose, Massachusetts. After a successful career in ice skating, Garrett found his calling as a police officer. Helping others brought him deep satisfaction and being a police officer was a part of him. In the end, his last act was for the safety and wellbeing of others and was a tribute to his life. What we need most today, and in the coming weeks, is your prayers for our family and for others who were impacted by this tragedy. We are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love that has come from the community and across the nation.
We understand this is a public tragedy felt by many and we also appreciate your support for us to grieve privately.