2ND UPDATE, 1:38 PM: Local authorities just holding a news conference about the case. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco just said in response to a reporter’s question: “We do not believe there is any reason why [suspect Curtis Reeves’] defense will be able to justify that this is a ‘stand your ground’ case.” Detective Timothy Harris added that words “words were exchanged” between Reeves and the victim but there was “no physical contact.” He also said police believe Reeves “was in possession of the firearm when he entered the [theater]”, refuting reports that he had gone out to his car.
UPDATE, 1:00 PM: Monday’s shooting suspect has been ID’ed as retired Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves. According to eyewitness reports from the Cobb Grove 16 theater in Wesley Chapel, Florida the fatal altercation began when Reeves, 71, confronted victim Chad Oulson, 43, who had been texting with his daughter during movie previews. In the ensuing argument Oulson reportedly threw popcorn at Reeves, who then shot him in the chest. Oulson later died from his injuries. Reeves was arrested and charged with 2nd-degree murder.
PREVIOUS, MONDAY 1:34 PM: A man who had been texting in a movie theater screening of the war action pic Lone Survivor died after being shot by another moviegoer today in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The victim had been texting on his cell phone and “making a lot of noise,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told CNN. That led to a verbal altercation with another patron seated in the row behind him. The shooting suspect, who was there with his wife, then reported the incident to theater management but then returned and shot the texter and his wife with a .380 handgun in front of 25 witnesses, one of whom then detained the shooter until police arrived. The male victim later died at a hospital. His wife suffered non-life threatening injuries. The exchange and shooting occurred during previews before the 1:30 PM screening at the Cobb Theatres Grove 16 theater, which has a strict no-weapons policy. “There was no indication that they knew each other,” Sheriff Nocco said. The theater has since been closed until further notice. “This was an isolated incident and is not an active shooter situation. It was a verbal dispute over texting and that led to a shooting,” the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement obtained by Deadline.
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