Officer Garret Swasey, a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs campus officer, 44, was killed when he responded in support of Colorado Springs police to reports of an active shooter at the clinic Friday morning.
"When he knew that someone was in need, he wasn’t going to pause. There would just be no question," Sarah Dontanville, who has known Swasey and his family for 10 years, told ABC affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver. "When you look at his character, he was a great man of integrity."
Dontanville's husband, Scott, a co-pastor with Swasey at Hope Chapel said he wasn't surprised that Swasey would go to help when he heard of other officers in need.
"He was willing to take that risk, that cost," Scott Dontanville told KMGH-TV. "That wasn’t just his job, that was his calling as a Christian."
UCCS said today both the men's and women's basketball teams will observe a moment of silence in honor of Swasey at their games today.
Two others were killed and at least nine people were injured in the incident. A suspect, identified as Robert Lewis Dear, 57, was taken into custody following an hours-long standoff, according to authorities. A motive for the shooting has not been released.
Swasey, a six-year veteran of the UCCS police department, was married and a father of two children, said the university.
According to the Denver Post, before he was a police officer, Swasey was a junior national couples ice dancing champion in 1992. He also competed in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships three years later.
Swasey grew up in Melrose, Massachusetts, about 10 miles north of Boston, according to Melrose Mayor Robert Doland.
"As a class of 1989 graduate, I remember him to be a kind and caring young man with many friends, dedicated to his skating career, and excelling in all areas at Melrose High School," the mayor said in a blog post.
Swasey was active in his community and his church in Colorado, said the mayor.
"The entire Melrose community mourns the loss of Garrett, and our thoughts are with his parents and family, who were longtime residents, as well as his wife Rachel and their two children," Doland said.
Esther Castillejo and Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.