Sheila Swasey, the mother of slain police officer Garrett Swasey, who was killed in a standoff at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, wanted her son to keep teaching ice skating, not become a police officer. But six years ago, he joined the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police department.
“It’s what he wanted to do,” Swasey said. “How could you say no?”
The day before his death, Swasey had spent Thanksgiving with family.
“He wasn’t arrogant or selfish, and I wish people could hear more about that, about how caring the police really are,” his mother said.
Besides being a consummate police officer, Swasey was an elder and co-pastor at his church. There, according to a short biography on the church’s website, he taught guitar to fellow churchgoers and helped with the chapel’s care groups.
Swasey grew up in Melrose, Mass., a small suburb north of Boston, where he took up figure skating — a passion that would eventually take him west to Colorado, where he would coach and teach the sport.
According to a childhood friend, Swasey met his wife, Rachel, after moving to Colorado. Their daughter Faith is 6 and their son Elijah turns 11 on Sunday.