Retired policeman charged in shooting at movie theater

8:21 AM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Two People Shot Over Texting Argument in Movie Theater

Police investigating a shooting a at a movie theater in Pasco Co., Fla., on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (WTSP)

(WXIA) -- An argument over texting in a movie theater left a Florida man dead and his wife hospitalized. It happened in the Tampa suburb of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Monday afternoon.

Shootings in movie theaters like this one, and the movie theater massacre that happened at a movie theater outside Denver a year and a half ago have shown that people are, more and more, concerned with their safety when attending movie theaters.

There really have not been many changes in security at theaters since the Colorado movie massacre. Ask yourself a question: When's the last time you went through a metal detector or got patted down before attending a movie - the answer is probably never, but in the nearly two years since the deadly shooting in Colorado, security has remained lax in movie theaters in metro Atlanta and across the country.

This was certainly proven when police said a 71-year-old retired Tampa Police captain shot and killed a man in the audience of the movie "Lone Survivor."

Investigators said the gunman -- identified as former Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves, Jr -- had argued with the victim because he was allegedly texting and making noise before the movie started. Investigators said the victim, 43-year-old Chad Oulson later died.

Witnesses told 11Alive's Tampa sister station WTSP that during an argument between the two men, Reeves pulled out a gun and fired a single shot. According to WTSP, the bullet went through the hand of Oulson's wife Nicole, before striking and killing Oulson.

Nicole Oulson was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Other witnesses said Reeves calmly placed the gun in his lap following the shooting.

According to Pasco County, Fla., Sheriff Chris Nocco, Reeves retired from the Tampa Police Department about 20 years ago at the rank of captain. Reeves was also instrumental in forming the department's tactical team, which is trained to handle the types of emergencies investigators say he himself created in the theater.

Cobb Theaters, which owns the complex where the shooting occurred, issued a statement that called the shooting an "isolated altercation between two guests that escalated unexpectedly." They also said that, "the safety, security and comfort of our guests and team members are always our top priorities, and we are truly heartbroken by this incident."

Tampa Police issued a statement Monday evening:

Curtis Reeves Jr. retired from the Tampa Police Department on 9/30/93 as a Captain. He was instrumental in establishing the department's first Tactical Response Team. We are not aware of any contact with the department since his departure more than 20 years ago.

Reeves has been charged with second degree murder and is being held without bond.


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(WTSP contributed to this report.)

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