A retired police officer shot dead a man sitting in front of him at the cinema due to a disagreement over texting.
71-year-old Curtis Reeves allegedly opened fire after arguing with Chad Oulson (43) who was using his mobile phone to send texts, a Pasco County Sheriff spokesman said.
Joined by their wives, the men had been waiting to watch newly released film Lone Survivor at the Cobb Grove 16 cinema in Wesley Chapel, north of Tampa yesterday (Monday 14 January).
The victim was on his cell phone, he was texting. We believe he was making some kind of noise. This noise led to an altercation,’ said Sheriff Chris Nocco in a press conference.
Witness Charles Cummings told FOX 13 that Oulson had explained to Reeves that he was texting his daughter.
“Their voices start going up; there seems to be almost a confrontation. Somebody throws popcorn, I’m not sure who threw the popcorn, and, bang, he was shot.’
‘I can’t believe people would bring a pistol, a gun, to a movie. I can’t believe they would argue and fight and shoot one another over popcorn. Over a cell phone’, added Cummings.
It has been reported that Mr Oulson’s wife was also wounded during the shooting as she had just placed her hand on her husband.
A nurse who was also at the screening tried performing emergency resuscitation on the victim while an off-duty sheriff detained Reeves.
Mr Reeves has been charged with second-degree murder.