EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The woman who was found dead at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Sunday that also claimed the life of El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Peery, has been identified by her family.

26-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Paz was found dead in a yard when deputies with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) and an officer with the Fountain Police Department (FPD) responded to the area of Ponderosa Drive and Grand Boulevard in Security-Widefield on reports of a shooting. Alex’s husband, 33-year-old John Paz, is suspected of killing her before firing upon responding law enforcement and fatally wounding Deputy Peery.

Alex’s mom, Rosie Kelley, identified her daughter as the woman killed, and shared details about Alex’s life. According to Kelley, Alex was a former Marine who loved animals and planned to be a veterinary technician. She was close to finishing her education at Apex College of Veterinary Technology in Colorado Springs.

“My daughter was the sweetest person I think you could ever meet,” said Kelley. “When she walked in the room, she lit up the room with her presence and her smile, and she was a very avid animal lover. I mean… sometimes she loved animals more than people, but she would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.”

Alex’s family said she had four dogs, snakes, fish, and bunnies. If an animal was in need of rescue, she would be the one to do it. Alex also served five years of active duty with the Marine Corps and was medically discharged in May of 2020. She moved to Colorado Springs the same year.

Kelley said Alex loved her family, and spoke to her on the phone almost daily: “[I will miss] her calling me up and telling me that she loves me.”

Kelley said the news came as a shock, as the family had met John Paz, the suspect in the case and Alex’s husband. “We’ve met John. We’ve talked to him multiple times. She was his queen.”

The family did not know, however, that John and Alex had recently gotten married. “We just found out. All of us, including our father, just found out that those two had actually gotten married. Because I know that she had planned a big Oregon wedding so that family and friends could attend.”

Kelley offered some advice for parents, hoping maybe she could keep someone else from experiencing the same pain as her family: “Just people need to pay attention when their kids act like there’s nothing wrong. There still might be something wrong. Cause, you know, maybe we could have seen some warning signs that we didn’t see if we didn’t think he was such a great guy.”

Alex is survived by her mother, father, and six brothers and sisters. Once her body is released from the Coroner’s Office, the family said they plan to take her back to Oregon to bury her with Full Military Honors.

The El Paso County Coroner has not yet independently identified Alex as the woman killed.