One of the victims of an abortion clinic shooting in the US last month has been hailed for his compassion and selflessness – motivated by his strong Christian faith.
Garrett Swasey, a 44-year-old police officer and pastor, lost his life protecting staff and clients at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on 27 November.
He was one of the first to respond to reports of an active shooter and raced ten miles to the scene. Iraq war veteran Ke’Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky, a mother of two, also died during the attack.
Scott Dontanville, co-pastor with the police officer at a reformed church, said he was “not just courageous, but Christlike”.
Dontanville pointed out that although Swasey was opposed to abortion, he was “willing to go in and lay down his life for those people, and that’s just the testimony to me of the kind of man that he is”.
Mr Swasey left behind two children, 11-year-old Elijah and 6-year-old Faith, and Rachel, his wife of 17 years.
In a statement released two days after the shooting, Rachel Swasey described her husband as “devoted” and called him a “wonderful father”.
And in a tribute on Facebook his sister, Kimberley Swasey Noveletsky, said: “My brother was a hero in every sense of the word. He showed the world what kind of man he was yesterday when he made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The gunman has been named as 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear.