UK & World News
Florida Cinema Shooting Follows Phone Dispute
A man has been killed and his wife injured after they were shot in an apparent dispute over the use of a mobile phone in a Florida cinema.
Pasco County sheriff's office said two couples had been watching Lone Survivor at The Grove 16 Theater in Wesley Chapel, north of Tampa, when the suspect and his wife apparently took issue with the couple in front of them over their use of phones.
Authorities identified the suspect as 71-year-old retired Tampa police officer Curtis Reeves.
"The suspect decides to pull out a .380 (handgun), and he shoots the victim," Sheriff Chris Nocco told The Bradenton Herald.
"It's absolutely crazy that it would rise to this level of (violence) over somebody texting at a movie theatre."
The victim, identified as 43-year-old Chad Oulsen, was taken to a Tampa-area hospital where he later died.
Mr Oulsen's wife, Nichole, was also taken to hospital but her injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Charles Cummings was inside the theatre with his adult son and said the film was still in previews when the argument started.
He said a man in the back row left the auditorium and came back a few minutes later appearing upset.
Moments later, the argument between the two men resumed, and the man in the front row stood up.
"Somebody throws popcorn. I'm not sure who threw the popcorn," Mr Cummings said. "And then bang, he was shot."
Mr Cummings said the man who was shot fell onto him and his son.
He said he and another person who claimed to be a nurse performed CPR on the victim while his son called 911.
A man sitting next to the shooter grabbed the gun out of his hand, and the suspect did not attempt to get away, Mr Cummings said.
"I can't believe people would bring a pistol, a gun, to a movie," Mr Cummings said. "I can't believe they would argue and fight and shoot one another over popcorn. Over a cellphone."
Reeves has been charged with second-degree murder.
Sheriff Nocco said: "Everybody is paranoid, scared, because a movie theatre should be a safe place where people should be able to go out and enjoy themselves.
"But what America has seen over the last couple of years is that movie theatres have become dangerous places where injuries occur."
In 2012, a man killed a dozen people and injured 70 others at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.
James Holmes, 26, is charged in the killings and is awaiting trial.
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