July 26th, 2012
10:53 PM ET

Aurora shooting victim called "I love you" to daughters

Gordon Cowden, a father of four, was with two of his daughters when he was shot and killed in theater 9.

“We have strength but at moments you’ll just breakdown and lose it,” Brooke, who was with her father when he died, tells Anderson Cooper.

A makeshift memorial of 12 white crosses sits close to the Colorado theater. On the cross that has Gordon’s name written across the top, there is this message: “Dad, it was a surreal disorienting night, what was certain was your calling to us, I love you both.”

“My dad taught me what it meant to be a man. He was a father first and last and always,” says Gordon’s son, Weston. “He lived so passionately and lived life like it was supposed to be lived.”

Brooke reminisces about one of the last days she spent with her father. “We went to a local park where there was a concert going on and we actually danced at that concert and I’ll remember that dance for a very long time,” she says to Anderson.

If you'd like to donate in his memory, gifts may be made to the Gordon Cowden Children's Memorial Fund at any Chase Bank location.

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. bob

    it's a terrible tragedy but the question of what a 6 yr old was doing at a midnight screening may be legit. that is too late an hour for that young a child. they need structure and a normal sleep schedule at that age, not midnight premieres.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  2. Penny

    David, the six-year-old's mother is in the hospital, in critical condition, after being shot multiple times. She also suffered a miscarriage as a result of the attack, but I'm sure she's anxious to hear what you think of her parenting decisions. Sympathy does not usually include such self-righteous and judgmental comments.

    July 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  3. sara

    david – the family of the youngest victim is in crises and probably too busy trying to survive to make time for interviews. her mom is in the hospital, paralyzed from her gunshot wound she received. she also suffered a miscarriage on top of it. no offense, but it's not against the law to bring a 6 yr old to the movie theatre. it is against the law to shoot a 6 yr old at the movie theatre.

    July 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  4. Koal

    As a father of two young girls. ( 9 years old and 2 years old) I can't imagine what he went through but I will cherish my moments with them more so then before reading this story of what can and has happened. Its a bit of a eye opener. Maybe not work so much overtime and take my daughters out instead. May He rest in piece and let his family honor his memory.

    July 30, 2012 at 3:29 am |
  5. david

    with sincere sympathy for the family, why is no one asking why a 6 yr old was out to a "junior adult" movie until 2:00 AM.? Where were the parents? Why haven't we seen them being interviewed, or named, to express their sense of loss or appreciation of the public outpouring of support? Just curious why no one is asking or hearing from the family that suffered this "youngest" loss. Again, my most sincere sympathies to all those who feel the losses of this attack.

    July 28, 2012 at 3:10 am |