The victims of the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs, CO. were identified as an Iraq War veteran, a mother of two from Hawaii and a police officer.
NBC News reports the identities of Ke’Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky were confirmed by their families Sunday. Police officer Garrett Swasey was previously identified and honored in a candlelight vigil over the weekend.
Suspect Robert Lewis Dear reportedly opened fire in the parking lot of the clinic on Friday. After a tense hours-long standoff, police were able to take Dear into custody alive. He is expected to appear in court Monday.
Stewart, a 29-year-old veteran, was at the clinic with his girlfriend. Markovsky was present with her friend. Stewart, a father of two, was shot when he went outside of the clinic to get cellphone service. He then ran back inside to warn others to take cover.
NBC News reports:
Leyonte Chandler said it was his sibling’s Army experience that prompted his final act of heroism.
“I believe that’s his military instinct, you know: Leave no soldier behind, leave no civilian behind, just leave no one behind,” an emotional Chandler said. “So he ran back inside, trying to help out others. I don’t know where he was at, as far as how many more breaths he had, but he knew. And before his time ran out I guess that was his main priority … to help and save other lives.”
Chandler says the father was a true hero and doesn’t resent Dear for his actions. Police believe the suspect was politically motivated. Dear, who lived reclusively in an RV over 60 miles away from the clinic, mumbled about President Barack Obama and said “no more baby parts” during the ordeal.
“I don’t have any resentment or anything — I forgive him,” Chandler said. “It’s a hard pill to swallow because he took my only brother from me. That’s the only brother that I had, that I grew up with. He took that away from me and it’s hard but I forgive him. Jesus forgave me, so I have to forgive him. My anger is not toward him, toward the gunmen … my anger is toward the laws that allow things like this to happen: the gun laws. When you allow people to carry firearms at their own will it makes a breeding ground for destruction and tragedy.”
John Ah-King, the father of Markovsky, mourned her death on Facebook in a post promising to keep her memory alive.
The family of Officer Swasey also took to social media to thank supporters for their condolences. Swasey was a Boston native, father of two, church elder and a care group leader at a local church.
Currently, Dear is being held without bond.