COLORADO SPRINGS — A vigil was held over the weekend for Alex Paz, the woman who was killed in a shooting incident that claimed the life of El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Peery. The vigil was organized by Apex College of Veterinary Technology, where Paz studied veterinary medicine.

Paz was a former Marine and animal lover, who planned to take her love of animals and apply it to a career as a veterinary technician. She had multiple pets including snakes, fish, bunnies, and dogs, many of which were rescued. Her family said if an animal was in need of rescue, Paz was the first to step up to help.

“My daughter was the sweetest person I think you could ever meet,” said Rosie Kelley, Paz’s mother. “Sometimes she loved animals more than people, but she would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.” 

Paz was close to completing her degree when she was allegedly killed by her husband, John Paz, on the night of Aug. 7. Peery was also killed in the line of duty, when John Paz fired upon responding law enforcement.

On Sunday, Aug. 14, Apex College held a vigil to honor Paz’s memory. Those in attendance lit candles inscribed with messages in her honor.

“We here at Apex, faculty and students alike, are devastated by her loss,” the college said in a statement. “Alex was a very sweet person and such an animal lover.”

Paz’s Apex College family stepped up to make sure her animals were cared for, after they were taken to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region upon her passing. One of her elderly dogs, Moxxi, even found a home with one of her fellow students. Apex will also be providing the dental care that Moxxi needs at no cost.

Additionally, since Paz was so close to graduating with her degree in Veterinary Technology, Apex College said Paz will be issued an honorary diploma, which will be sent to her family.