Investigators said two brothers and their friend began arguing about midnight Monday with fellow moviegoers about the film at a movie theater in the Houston suburb of Tomball.
“I know they were in the bathroom and they were discussing if there was going to be a sequel because of the way the movie ended,” said Bridgett Hacker, the mother of a witness. “They were discussing it among themselves, and there some people in the bathroom and they butted into their conversation and put their opinion in about it.”
Ryan Hacker said the argument spilled outside and became more heated when one of the other men made a comment about his friend Michael Emerson’s disfigured arm.
The other two men then jumped into a white Ford F-150 pickup and backed over Emerson, his friend said, but he believes it was unintentional.
“They hit him going fast,” Hacker said. “It wasn’t like a nudge, ‘get out of the way.’ It was fast. It happened in a split second. I think the emotions and adrenaline were pumping, and they didn’t have control of what was going on.”
Hacker said he tried to keep the 23-year-old Emerson conscious until emergency medical crews arrived, and he said he was hopeful when his friend let out a groan.
But he said paramedics checked Emerson’s pulse and said he would not likely survive.
“At that point I felt his spirit had left,” Hacker said. “I feel like I witnessed my best friend’s final moments.”
Emerson was pronounced dead a short time later at an area hospital.
Sheriff’s deputies have released surveillance video that shows the driver and the passenger sought for questioning in the incident.
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