Friday marks five years since Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting

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Garrett Swasey, Ke’Arre Stewart, and Jennifer Markovsky / Swasey photo courtesy UCCS; Stewart photo courtesy Ke’Arre M. Stewart Family

Garrett Swasey, Ke’Arre Stewart, and Jennifer Markovsky / Swasey photo courtesy UCCS; Stewart photo courtesy Ke’Arre M. Stewart Family

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Five years after three people were killed at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, the admitted shooter has not been brought to trial to face any of the 179 state charges or 68 federal charges filed against him.

Iraq war veteran Ke’Arre Stewart, mother Jennifer Markovksy, and UCCS police officer Garrett Swasey were killed in the shooting, which happened November 27, 2015, at the Planned Parenthood on Centennial Boulevard.

Stewart lost his life supporting a friend at the clinic. Witnesses told his family he was shot outside of the clinic and ran inside to warn and protect others.

Markovsky was originally from Hawaii. She left behind a husband and two kids. Her family said she was at the clinic supporting a friend.

Swasey, who had worked for UCCS for six years, was one of the first officers to respond to the shooting. He was a husband, father of two kids, and a co-pastor at Hope Chapel.

Nine other people, including four law enforcement officers, were injured.

The admitted shooter, Robert Dear, was captured that day after an hourslong standoff with police.

Dear faces 179 charges, including murder and attempted murder, in 4th Judicial District court. That case has not advanced since May 2016, when the court first deemed Dear mentally incompetent to stand trial. The next status hearing is set for December 4.

Dear, 62, was held at the state mental hospital in Pueblo until December, when federal charges were filed against him.

A federal grand jury indicted Dear on 65 counts of violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, as well as three counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death where the killing is a murder.

Federal prosecutors said they filed the charges then because the state case has failed to advance, and the federal FACE Act has a five-year statute of limitations.

There were no major developments in the federal case until November 20, when a judge ordered another competency hearing for Dear, according to court records. However, that order was stayed–or postponed–until November 30, so attorneys for both sides can discuss the specific location of the evaluation.

According to federal prison records, Dear is now being held at FCI Englewood.

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