1208 new life

Security guard Jeanne Assam reflects on the Dec. 9, 2007, shootings at New Life Church in Colorado Springs nearly a year later. Two churchgoers were killed before Assam shot the gunman, stopping his rampage.

1208 new life

During a maniac’s shooting spree Monday in the Denver metro area, Lakewood Police Officer Ashley Ferris risked her life to save others. She took at least one bullet and is expected to survive. God only knows how many lives she spared by putting herself on the brink of death.

It reminds us of another great hero who Colorado and the rest of the country should never forget.

As recounted by Gazette news reporter Dennis Huspeni on Thursday, Jeanne Assam put herself in the line of fire in December 2007 when a mass shooter arrived at New Life Church in Colorado Springs with plans to kill thousands.

A local parole officer and former Minneapolis cop, Assam volunteered for plain-clothed church security duty the morning of Dec. 9, 2007. A lunatic showed up with 3,000 rounds of ammo and guns that included an AK-47 military rifle designed for the mass killing of humans.

Just like Ferris, Assam put others ahead of herself. After the shooter killed two teenage girls in the parking lot and shot three others, he entered the church arena prepared to open fire on a large and dense crowd of worshippers.

Assam took aim. He fired at her, missing several times. Assam hit the shooter with multiple rounds from a high-caliber handgun, stopping his rampage.

“I hope she gets the Medal of Valor,” Assam said of Lakewood officer Ferris, who is recovering with family by her side in a Denver-area hospital.

That’s a great suggestion. President Joe Biden should invite Ferris, Assam, and other heroic law-enforcement officers to the White House and remind Americans how we are selflessly served each day by brave men and women who risk their lives to protect and defend us. Sometimes these heroic deeds go virtually unnoticed.

When Assam saved lives, she should have been featured on the cover of Time, Newsweek and every major publication in the country. After all, Time pasted full color smiling photos of two psychotics who shot up Colorado’s Columbine High School less than two weeks past the carnage. Shockingly, Assam did not receive the hero’s acclaim she deserved. Some journalists chose to look for anything negative they could find in her background.

Because of Assam, we are served today by countless doctors, teachers, scientists, first responders, and more who would have otherwise been shot. We have no idea what our future would look like if Ferris had failed to risk her life for others this week.

Let’s get back to celebrating people who give or risk their lives so others may live. Let’s start with Ferris and keep looking for more.

The Gazette Editorial Board

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