Pasco County sheriff's deputies and special response teams responded to an active shooter scenario at the Grove 16 --a Cobb movie theater-- in Wesley Chapel, Fla, on Monday afternoon. Two people --one male and one female-- were reportedly shot and airlifted to a Tampa Bay-area hospital.
At this time, one of the two individuals who was shot has succumbed to his injuries.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco has confirmed the fatality, and stated the shooting incident was over a theater patron texting in the movie house. Reportedly, it is believed the shooter became disgruntled over another patron sitting in front of him who was texting on a cell phone. According to Sheriff Nocco, words were exchanged between the two.
Soonafter, gunfire erupted, striking two individuals. The two individuals who were shot are a married couple. Sheriff's detectives are investigating whether the shooter intentionally opened fire on the texter's wife or unintentionally via an errant bullet.
Although still an on-going investigation and active crime scene, other than the two individuals who were shot, everyone else in the theater was safely evacuated. Pasco County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) personnel have cordoned-off the movie theater and its surrounding parking lots. Evidence-gathering and massive interviews are presently being conducted.
Sheriff Chris Nocco is on scene and exclaimed these parties met today purely "by fate", otherwise "they never would have known each other."
The shooter is in custody of Pasco County sheriff's detectives and, stemming from their interview results, an identity will be released.
A swift response time by law enforcement resulted in the suspect being arrested within the theater and without further injury. The shooter was restrained by another theater patron until law enforcement arrived to effect an arrest. The shooter's .380-caliber handgun was recovered.
Pasco County Sheriff's Office is offering assistance to any witnesses to this double-shooting. By calling the Pasco County Sheriff's Communication's Unit at 727-844-7711, a Victim Advocate Unit member will provide counseling and offer resources.
The Grove 16, a Cobb Theater, is recently constructed in the newly-built Groves at Wesley Chapel Shopping Center, located butting up against Interstate 75 at State Road 54.
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