AUSTIN (KXAN) - A former Austinite is among the victims in the mass shooting spree at an Aurora movie theater on Thursday night.
According to a statement from the family, Gordon Cowden, 51, had taken his two teenage children to see "Dark Knight Rises" at a midnight showing at the Century 16 in a suburban Denver theater.
"The family of Gordon Cowden wishes to express appreciation for the concern and prayers offered us during this very difficult time," according to the statement released by the family on Saturday. "Our hearts go out to everyone that has been harmed by this senseless tragedy."
Cowden moved to Colorado a few years ago but much of his family still live in Austin. Sunday, friends that knew Cowden gathered at the family's old church, First Baptist Church of Austin.
The pastor's sermon focused on healing and forgiveness along with a message of not living in fear.
"Violence is a very powerful force in our society and the only way to turn it back is to treat it with love," said Pastor Roger Payntor.
Cowden was the oldest of the dozen shooting victims identified so far. The family's statement described the former Austinite as a loving father, outdoorsman and small business owner.
"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 obstacle," according to a family spokesman.
Cowden's father is local attorney and former state lawmaker George Malcolm Cowden.
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