A movie theater shooting case in Tampa, Florida, turned violent and then fatal this week after a man opened fire on a man and woman in front of him while in the cinema, killing the male and injuring the female victim. The latest reports reveal that the culprit is in fact a former police captain who decided to shoot the couple in a fit of anger after the pair did not stop texting during the film previews. His identity has been made known as 71-year-old Curtis Reeves. ABC News offers this update this Monday, Jan. 13, 2014.
The movie theater shooting apparently began with an argument between the former police captain and the young couple over cell phone usage in the theater. Before the shooter fired his gun, witnesses said he was loudly quarreling with the married couple over them taking to their phones and text messaging before the new movie, “Lone Survivor,” began screening.
Police have confirmed that the shooting suspect’s identity is that of a retired Tampa cop, 71-year-old Curtis Reeves. He apparently grew so irate over the couple continuing to text message during the previews that he removed his gun and opened fire on the man and woman. The victims have also been named as Chad and Nichole Oulson, also of Tampa, Florida.
According to the official police press release on the movie theater shooting, the argument escalated to the point that the culprit Reeves decided to shoot the man square in the chest, then fire at the woman, wounding her.
“Authorities noted that an aggrieved Reeves asked Chad and Nichole Oulson several times to stop, and then Reeves left the theater. When Reeves returned, Chad Oulson asked Reeves if he reported his phone use to the theater managers, police said. That prompted an argument which ended when Reeves pulled out a gun and shot Oulson in the chest, police said.”
"The victim was on his cellphone, he was texting. We believe he was making some kind of noise. This noise led to an altercation," Sheriff Chris Nocco added on the fatal gun violence incident. "During that altercation, the suspect decided to pull out a .380 and he shoots the victim."
Oulson’s wife suffered non-threatening injuries, while Chad Oulson died upon arrival to a local medical center.
An off-duty police officer restrained Reeves until officers were able to arrive at Cobb Movie Theater after the shooting and place him under arrest. The identity of the brave officer has not been officially disclosed at this time.
Curtis Reeves was a former police captain that retired over 20 years ago from the force.
“It’s just a terrible shock,” said one witness. “I can’t believe this fatal thing happened over texting.”