The police officer killed during the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs has been identified as Garrett Swasey.
Swasey was shot to death by gunman Robert Lewis Dear when responding to initial reports of an active shooter at the clinic.
Swasey was married and the father of two young children. He was also the co-pastor of his church.
Swasey joined the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police department six years ago.
The White House on Saturday released a statement from President Obama that praised the officers courage.
“May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save — and may He grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing,” President Obama said.
University chancellor Pam Shockley Zalabak posted a short statement following the officer’s death. “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.”
The statement says Swasey responded to reports of an active shooter at about 11:40 a.m. on Friday.
“UCCS officers are sworn, state-certified police officers. Officer Swasey was on duty at the campus and responded in support of Colorado Springs Police,” the statement adds.
A short bio on his churches website says Garret and his wife Rachel have been attending Hope Chapel since 2001.
Rachel serves as a “behind the scenes” leader and watches over children in the churches nursery. Swasey provided oversight to the churches Care Groups and served as a co-pastor at the non-denominational evangelical church.
Officer Swasey is survived by his wife, Rachel, his son Elijah, and daughter, Faith.