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Three Colorado theater victims mourned at services

More details emerge about the psychiatrist who had been treating shooting suspect James E. Holmes.

July 29, 2012
  • Family and friends pay final respects to Matthew McQuinn, one of 12 killed in the Colorado theater shooting, at a cemetery in Springfield, Ohio
Family and friends pay final respects to Matthew McQuinn, one of 12 killed… (Barbara J. Perenic, Springfield…)

Victims of the Colorado theater shootings were mourned at funeral services in various parts of the country on Saturday, among them a man who died saving his girlfriend's life.

Mourners packed a church in Springfield, Ohio, to remember Matt McQuinn, and friends and family of aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi gathered in San Antonio. A private funeral service was held at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., for Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress, an Air Force reservist.

Twelve people died in the attack in Aurora, and 58 others were injured.

PHOTOS: Colorado movie theater shooting

A few details emerged, meanwhile, about Dr. Lynne Fenton, the University of Colorado-Denver psychiatrist who had been treating shooting suspectJames E. Holmes.

State records show that Fenton was reprimanded by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners in 2005 for prescribing medication to herself, her husband and an employee. The medications, prescribed in the late 1990s, included Vicodin, Xanax, Lorazepam and Ambien.

Fenton was also reprimanded for failing to maintain a medical chart or enter appropriate entries for the charts relating to herself, her husband or the employee. As part of the reprimand, Fenton had to complete more than 50 hours of medical training and promise not to prescribe medications to family members or employees.

Before the movie theater massacre July 20, Holmes had been seeing Fenton and mailed her a package containing a notebook, according to a motion filed by his public defenders and released Friday.

Neither Fenton nor the Colorado medical board staff could be reached for comment Saturday.

At the service for McQuinn, 27, who dived in front of his girlfriend when the shooting started, pastors spoke of the senselessness of the rampage at the suburban Denver theater.

McQuinn was shot three times; his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, was shot in the knee and survived. She arrived at McQuinn's funeral on crutches Saturday and wept quietly with his parents and other relatives during the funeral. Neither she nor his parents addressed mourners at the Maiden Lane Church of God.

"Matt's death is a sudden loss, one that has produced many questions in your minds," Pastor Dan Fiorini said. "I know you're asking in your heart of hearts, why? Why was Matt there? Why was a gunman allowed to enter that theater? Why was he able to purchase guns and ammunition so easily? Why didn't God do something?"

Fiorini said he couldn't answer any of those questions.

"We can wrestle with the whys of this tragedy for eternity and never come up with an answer," he said.

Mourners at the funeral for Ghawi, 24, also touched briefly on the massacre.

"If this coward could have done this with this much hate, imagine what we can do with this much love," her brother, Jordan Ghawi, said at the Community Bible Church in San Antonio.

But most of the service focused on the life and energy of the aspiring sports journalist.

"What we will not do today is focus on how she left us," said Peter Burns, a friend from Colorado, reading a statement from Ghawi's mother, Sandy. "Jess was a force to be reckoned with. She was a jolt of lightning. A whirlwind. A Labrador puppy running clumsily with innocent joy."

After the funeral for Childress, 29, about 200 people attended a private burial service at Ft. Logan National Cemetery southwest of Denver, Veterans Affairs spokesman Paul Sherbo said.

Friends and colleagues have described the Air Force cyber-systems operator as a good friend, experienced and knowledgeable. Childress was from Thornton, Colo., and worked at Buckley Air Force Base.

More funerals are planned for this week.

Also Saturday, officials reported that Ashley Moser, who was critically wounded in the attack that killed her 6-year-old daughter, has had a miscarriage.

Jacki Kelley of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said Moser was recovering from surgery but that the trauma caused the miscarriage.

The family says funeral plans for the girl are pending.

nation@latimes.com

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