Iraq War Veteran Among The Dead In Colorado Springs Shooting

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A friend says of one of the three people who died in a shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic was an Iraq War veteran who was discharged from the military a year ago.

Amburh Butler, who spoke on behalf of 29-year-old Ke'Arre Stewart's family, said he was accompanying someone at the clinic when he was killed, leaving behind two young daughters in Texas where he grew up. Butler said the Army stationed Stewart at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs in 2013.

She said he used to write her letters from Iraq that detailed the horrors of fighting on the front lines. She last spoke to him on Thursday when he sounded upbeat to be spending Thanksgiving with friends.

John Ah-King said his daughter, 36-year-old Jennifer Markovsky, was also accompanying a friend to the clinic when she was killed. He described her as a kind-hearted, lovable person with two children.

Also killed in the shootout was 44-year-old University of Colorado police officer Garrett Swasey. He was a six-year veteran of the department, married with a son and daughter.

A law enforcement official says the suspect in the shooting spree, 57-year-old Robert Dear, made a comment about "no more baby parts" after his arrest. Planned Parenthood said in a statement that witnesses said the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion. Police have not disclosed a motive for the attack. Dear is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is calling it a crime against women receiving health care services at Planned Parenthood. In a statement, Lynch called the attack not only a crime against the local community, but a crime against law enforcement seeking to protect and to serve, against other innocent people and against the rule of law as well as all Americans' right to safety and security.

The nation's top law enforcement officer says federal officials stand ready to offer any and all assistance to the district attorney and state and local law enforcement in Colorado as they move forward with their investigation.

Investigators say Dear, armed with an AK-47-style weapon, burst into the clinic. A five-hour standoff ensued, coming to an end when Dear surrendered, but not before police say he killed Officer Swasey, Stewart and Markovsky.

Authorities said Saturday that the nine injured, five police officers among them, were all in good condition at area hospitals.

Officer Garrett Swasey

President Obama said Saturday the Planned Parenthood shootings show the urgent need, "to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons on war," for, "people who have no business wielding them."

"Enough is enough," Obama says in a statement a day after the deadly assault.

Obama said it's not known what motivated the shooter, but it's clear "more Americans and their families had fear forced upon them" - and that, the president says, "is not normal. We can't let it become normal."

He says if "we truly care about this - if we're going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience," then America must make it harder to get guns.

Several vigils were held in Colorado Springs on Saturday to remember the victims.

Vicki Cowart, the regional head of Planned Parenthood, spoke at one of the gatherings. She promised to quickly reopen the Colorado Springs clinic and continue to offer health care services to anyone who needs them.

Cowart drew a standing ovation as she walked to the church pulpit.

She said all 15 employees at the clinic survived and worked hard to make sure everyone else got into safe spaces and stayed quiet during the attack. She said the organization would learn from the attack, "square our shoulders" and carry on with its mission.

After her remarks, a woman in the audience stood up and objected to the vigil becoming a "political statement" before leaving.

Earlier, Rev. Nori Rost called the gunman a "domestic terrorist." In the back of the room, someone held a sign that said "Women's bodies are not battlefields. Neither is our town."