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Officer killed in Colorado Springs shooting was church elder, skating champion

November 27, 2015 Updated: December 1, 2015 at 11:30 am
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photo - Garrett Swasey shown with his family, was an elder in Hope Chapel in Colorado Springs. (Courtesy Hope Chapel)
Garrett Swasey shown with his family, was an elder in Hope Chapel in Colorado Springs. (Courtesy Hope Chapel) 

Garrett Swasey, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer killed in Friday's shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Clinic, was a six-year veteran of the school's police force.

Swasey, 44, responded in support of the Colorado Springs to initial reports of an active shooter at the clinic in northwest Colorado Springs, arriving at 11:50 a.m. Friday and was killed in the line of duty, according to UCCS Chancellor Pamela Shockley Zalabak.

"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 at Colorado Springs," Zalabak said in a statement.

On Saturday, U.S. Figure Skating President Sam Auxier released this statement: “The figure skating community mourns the tragic loss of Officer Garrett Swasey, a former U.S. junior ice dance champion. Garrett is remembered as a kind and selfless man who was well-liked by friends and competitors alike. He died in the line of duty serving the community of Colorado Springs, home to U.S. Figure Skating. While we are shocked and saddened by his loss, we are grateful for his service as an officer and his impact as a figure skater. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with his wife, Rachel, and children Elijah and Faith.”

Two funds have been set up for Officer Swasey's wife and children:

- Aventa Credit Union has established the Garrett Swasey Memorial Fund. To make a donation, stop by any Aventa Credit Union branch or call Aventa Credit Union at 719.482.7600 or 800.555.6665.

 

- An online memorial fund is accepting donations for the family at:

https://www.youcaring.com/the-family-of-officer-swasey-rachel-swasey-and-children-477034.

Law enforcement agencies and groups from across the area and state and around the nation tweeted condolence messages about Swasey, mourning his loss and calling him a hero. University of Colorado President Bruce Benson also released a statement mourning Swasey.

"The CU community mourns the tragic loss of Officer Garrett Swasey of UCCS. Our thoughts, prayers are with Rachel, their children and family," Benson said in the statement.

Gov. John Hickenlooper also released a condolence message: "Our deepest condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those who were killed, including UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey, and those who were injured. Our thoughts continue to be with law enforcement, the Colorado Springs community, and the staff and patients at Planned Parenthood."

Swasey grew up in Massachusetts and competed with partner Rachel Mayer with The Skating Club of Boston in the Eastern Sectional Championships. He and Fowler, a Baltimore native living in the Springs in the early 1990s, won the junior dance competition by winning both the original and free dance programs. He and Hillary Tompkins, finished 13th in the 1995 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and later performed in ice shows in northern Maine.

Garrett Swasey was an elder in Hope Chapel, a northeast Colorado Springs church, overseeing its three Care Groups and participating in its teaching team and playing guitar as part of its worship team.

Swasey is survived by his wife, Rachel; a son, Elijah, and a daughter, Faith.

-

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

Facebook Wayne Heilman

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