On November 27, 2015 a mass shooter killed three people and wounded nine others in an attack at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado. One of the victims was Officer Garrett Swasey, a UCCS police officer responding in support of the Colorado Springs police.


Wikipedia. Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting

The Gazette. Death of UCCS police officer in Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting confirmed.

In November 2015, we were in the throes of preparing to move to Colorado, which happened a few months later. I had already been accepted to UCCS and was planning to begin the following fall semester. How do we react to mass shootings now? They are no longer rare incidents. Shock, sadness, but I can’t claim disbelief. I know there are people who hate Planned Parenthood, just as there are people who hate Christians, or women, or anyone who isn’t hetero-normative. Hate exists.

I quickly heard from my friends in The Springs (I already had many old friends there even though we hadn’t moved there yet) and no one I knew personally was involved. Still, it shook the community. It brought up the usual angry debates over how, why, and what should be done.

From a distance, I was aware of the loss this was to UCCS, where I would soon be a student. The outpouring of grief was strong and widespread. But I wasn’t there yet… this was not yet my community. It was not my place to mourn; it was my place to be saddened and horrified, and to watch from a distance as the community put itself together again.


What memories do you have of this event? How did it affect you and the people in your life?

2 thoughts on “Mass Shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs

  1. I was working in Fresno at the time. It was slow, being the day after Thanksgiving, so I spent a lot of time reading the news. When the shooting happened I ran outside to call my parents (just to make sure they weren’t at the adjacent King Soopers). Then I checked on friends, staying on Facebook hoping to hear from acquaintances. As to the policeman who lost his life, I never knew him, but he was a former member of the skating community (my mom’s a coach) and so his death affected many friends.


  2. I remember that day pretty well. It was cold that week and there was still some snow on the ground. We used to shop at the King Sooper there and my daughter worked for a while in the shopping center. I have a friend that lives down off Han Brinker…about four blocks away, and a friend that lives in Kissing Camels, right over the fence from where the shooting occurred. Needless to say, I watched the events unfold on the news well into the evening. I remember when they were loading up the ambulance there on the corner under the traffic light at Fillmore and Centennial. Later they brought the shooter out…I remember he was wearing a t-shirt and his hair was all messed up, I assume from a good beating and frisking.
    I did not know the officer, but heard later that he had been killed in the shooting. I have also seen a few news reports recently of the shooter and his trial determination. It sounds as if he is too “insane” to be tried for his crimes, though he still looks the same. I wonder why he did it, I do not believe we have ever had a good explanation other that he was “crazy” and went after a Planned Parenthood.


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