Retired cop shoots dead moviegoer over texting inside theater

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – A retired police captain is to be arraigned Tuesday for shooting dead a moviegoer following their argument and altercation over cellphone texting inside a theater in Pasco County, Florida.

Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, is facing second-degree murder charges for killing Chad Oulson, 43, inside the Cobb Grove 16 theater in Wesley Chapel on Monday afternoon. Reeves also wounded Oulson’s wife, Nicole, who shielded her husband with her hand when the retired policeman fired his .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Oulson, who was pronounced dead at a hospital from a gunshot wound in the chest, and Reeves reportedly argued over texting before the showing of the “Lone Survivor,” the Pasco County Sheriff’s office said citing an arrest affidavit. Reeves, annoyed with the texting, asked Oulson several times to stop texting but the latter, who was communicating with his 3-year-old daughter, continued prompting the former to leave his seat to complain to the theater staff.

When Reeves returned, Oulson confronted him for complaining. An argument ensued that turned into an altercation when Oulson threw his popcorn at Reeves. Reeves then pulled his gun and shot him.

An off-duty Sumter County Sheriff’s deputy, Cpl. Alan Hamilton, was in the theater with his wife, when the shooting happened. Hamilton took Reeves’ weapon and detained him until police arrived, said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

Two nurses, who were among the moviegoers, tried to revive Oulson but to no avail.

Reeves’ affidavit said he felt threatened with harm from an object Oulson allegedly used to hit him in the face so he shot him.

Reeves retired from the Tampa Police Department in 1993 and was a director of security at Busch Gardens until 2005.

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