| AURORA, Colo. July 25
AURORA, Colo. July 25 The first funeral for one
of the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a Colorado movie
theater, a 51-year-old father of four, will be held on
Gordon Cowden, the oldest person killed, was a self-employed
real estate appraiser who had taken his teenage daughters to the
midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" when he was killed
along with 11 others in a hail of bullets allegedly fired by
24-year-old James Eagan Holmes. His daughters escaped unharmed.
Cowden's funeral, the first to occur since the July 20
massacre, will take place Wednesday morning at Pathways Church
Originally from Texas, where a separate memorial will be
held in Austin later this week, he was described in a statement
from his family as: "Loving father, outdoorsman and small
business owner, Cowden was a true Texas gentleman that loved
life and his family.
"A quick-witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor,
he will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for
always trying his best to do the right thing, no matter the
The funeral comes as 20 of the 58 people injured in the
shooting remained hospitalized, seven in critical condition.
On Tuesday, a 21-year-old woman who escaped injury in the
shooting gave birth to a baby boy while her husband was in the
same hospital in a medically induced coma with a gunshot wound
to the head.
Katie Medley and her husband, Caleb, 23, both wearing Batman
apparel, were at the movie when the shooting began.
A website set up to raise money for his care because the
Medleys have no health insurance, www.calebmedley.com/help, said
he had lost his right eye, suffered brain damage and was in a
medically induced coma.
Katie Medley gave birth in the same hospital where her
husband was being treated.
Holmes was arrested behind the theater shortly after the
massacre and was in court for the first time on Monday,
appearing dazed and groggy. At the hearing, the judge set a date
of next Monday for formal charges to be filed.
The judge ruled on Tuesday that no cameras would be allowed
in the courtroom when Holmes is charged. Holmes' initial
appearance on Monday was televised.
Authorities have not offered a motive for the shooting
spree. Police said Holmes, a former neuroscience student, left
his 800-square-foot (75-square-metre) apartment booby-trapped
with explosives that authorities said could have destroyed the
Local and state bomb experts conducted a controlled
demolition over the weekend. The building remains closed and
police have not said when residents will be allowed to return.
Holmes is in solitary confinement to protect him from other
prisoners. He had recently sought to leave a doctoral degree
program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado's Anschutz
Medical School, a few blocks from his apartment.
The shooting rampage has renewed debate in the United States
about gun control. At the same time, Colorado authorities said
on Tuesday that applications in the state for background checks
to buy firearms surged in the aftermath of the shooting.
(Writing by Dan Burns; Editing by Vicki Allen)