Theater shooting: Florida man guns down movie-goer for texting in ‘Lone Survivor’ film

By David Edwards
Monday, January 13, 2014 16:09 EDT
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A man aims a handgun. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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A Florida man is in custody on Monday after police said he shot and killed a man who was texting and causing a disturbance at a movie theater. A second person was also shot.

[Editor's Note: This story has been updated. See below.]

Authorities in Wesley Chapel said that the shooting happened during a matinee showing of the movie “Lone Survivor” at around 1:30 p.m. ET.

Sheriff Chris Nocco told CNN that the suspect was sitting in the row behind the victim, and began arguing because “the victim was using his cellphone, he was texting, he was making a lot of noise.”

“This led to a verbal altercation, the verbal alternation escalated to where the suspect pulled out a .380 and he shot the [victim],” Nocco explained. “I can confirm that the victim died of the injuries. There was another person injured.”

According to WSTP, the second victim was a woman who was there to see the movie with the first victim. Her injuries were described as non-life threatening.

“It’s absolutely crazy it would rise to this level over somebody just texting in a movie theater,” Nocco insisted to WTVT.

Update, 9:06 p.m. EST: WFTS-TV reported that the suspect was identified as 71-year-old Curtis Reeves, a retired Tampa Police Captain. Reeves was reportedly there with his wife.

A spokesperson for the department said in a statement that there were no signs Reeves, who was described as being “instrumental” in helping that department establish a tactical response unit before leaving in 1993, had kept in touch since then.

WFTS also reported that the victims were identified the victims as Chad and Nicole Oulson. According to Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, Reeves asked Chad Oulson to stop texting, then went to the front desk to complain. Witnesses told authorities that Oulson had texted his 3-year-old daughter.

Nocco told WFTS that the dispute between the two men became physical after Reeves returned to his seat, and that Reeves shot Chad Oulson with a .380 pistol. Nicole Oulson suffered a gunshot wound to the hand during the confrontation.

Watch WFTS’ report on Reeves’ background, aired on Monday, below.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Jan. 13, 2014.

[Photo: A man aims a handgun via Shutterstock.com]

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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