Ex-Cop Arrested for Fatal Shooting Over Texting at the Movies

Curtis Reeves allegedly killed a man and injured a woman in the Tampa-area theater following an argument over texting during previews

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Mike Carlson / Reuters

Law enforcement vehicles are parked outside the Cobb Grove 16 movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Fla., on Jan. 13, 2014.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. EST on Jan. 13

A retired Tampa police capitan was charged  with second-degree murder on Monday for shooting two people in a movie theater after an altercation over texting, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities in Pasco County Florida say that 71-year-old Curtis Reeves shot Chad Oulson and his wife Nichole during a screening of the Mark Wahlberg movie Lone Survivor after an argument that stemmed from Reeves asking Ouslon to stop texting.

Reeves reportedly shot the couple at Cobb Theater’s Grove 16 in Wesley Chapel, Fla. near Tampa, before being subdued by an onlooker According to the AP, Chad Oulson, 43,was shot in his chest and his wife  was shot in her hand.. Chad was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, while his wife was injured but will survive.

The incident could reignite debate about movie theater security, eighteen months after a dozen people were shot to death in a Aurora, Colo. multiplex. James Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for the 2012 massacre.

Cobb Theaters called the shooting “an isolated altercation between two guests that escalated unexpectedly.”

This post was updated to include the names of the victims and alleged shooter as well as the charges brought against the alleged shooter.

[WTSP]

[AP]

134 comments
almonjer
almonjer

Clearly this ex cop was STANDING HIS GROUND, you know like in the Trayvon Martin MURDER.  I mean if Martin was so threatening with a bag o' skittles and tea, well a hot bucket of buttered popcorn-WOW! that is really dangerous.  It is amazing to see the cops, media, and a lot of people IMMEDIATELY condemn this shooter although the same people made EVERY excuse for Zimmerman BECAUSE these were GOOD WHITE FOLK.  What goes around comes around and that's what YOU don't get-your kid is next just like this case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnT7QXD7zXk       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJY85V3w3xM

JackYoung1
JackYoung1

The guy threw popcorn at him you know what I'm sayin? The shooter could have been maimed for life . He felt justified that his life was in danger from the deadly buttered kernels being hurled at his head. Who can blame a man for bringing a gun to a movie theater. I have witnessed my share of assaults in movie theaters with milk duds sno-caps and of course the weapon Obama wants Americans to turn in, Skittles. Florida has a stand your ground law so good luck convicting Reeves           

HateToSayItbut
HateToSayItbut

Anyone else notice the irony that right now someone is sitting down to watch a movie and is tagging this story on Twitter?

JohnHubers
JohnHubers

Too bad the other guy didn't have a gun too as he could have defended himself.  That's the answer, right?  More guns?

pendragon05
pendragon05

So much weirdness in Florida so little time in paradise

AliGal
AliGal

What we really need is more guns!!  And we should carry them everywhere, even to the movies!!!  Idiots.

armynod
armynod

Ah Florida.  You never fail to represent.

lancasterpausa
lancasterpausa

It may not be right, but he got what he deserved.  Too many ass holes text and talk at movies and while on the road.  It would be great if they could hold the cellular carrier accountable too for this and driving accidents.  They hold bar tenders accountable if they serve a patron and they drive drunk and kill someone.  So many people think about harming phone using ass holes but DON'T.  Good Job Captain!

AndrewK777
AndrewK777

He was just standing his ground, right? 

kevin009
kevin009

"The incident could reignite debate about movie theater security" - the problem is not theater security it's people who believe they'e above the law and more importantly above humanity.

KevinDeLong
KevinDeLong

He will probably be like the crooked cops in New York City. Claim he has a phoney PSD mental issue related to the 9-11 terror attacks. End up with a huge settlement of back pay for disability  and never serve a day in jail for murder or attempted murder.

LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

Someone didn't read the public service announcement 

"PLEASE TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES!" 

that is shown on the screen before all movies at all theaters.

I'm glad that a responsible patron enforced the rules. Let this be a lesson to those that think the rules do not apply to them.

requester47
requester47

I thought everyone in America had a gun?

RKBB10
RKBB10

Carrying gun is  a recipe for disaster. Even small issues r solved not by talking but by easier way. e.g thru Guns.


BAN GUNS

oldsailor4
oldsailor4

Confucius says never go to a gunfight with just an ipad an a bigmouth

Onepatriot
Onepatriot

Sorry, I misread.  Thankfully the wife will survive.  But her life will no longer be the same.

Onepatriot
Onepatriot

This is why we shouldn't have people carrying guns in public.  Because in a fit of rage, too many people go off the deep end and now this innocent couple is dead.   What about  their right to enjoy a  movie?  This idiots' right to carry a gun outweighed their right to go to a movie?   I hope this mans freedom to carry a gun costs him  his freedom for the rest of his life and he'll never be able to use that precious gun again.

ReallySeriously
ReallySeriously

@JackYoung1   Working with the state attorney's office it was determined that stand-your-ground does not fly here in this case, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said, also Judge Tepper said there was no evidence to support the claim that the shooter was a victim, according to a probable cause affidavit. She denied bond and ruled that Reeves should face the second-degree murder charge

HateToSayItbut
HateToSayItbut

@AliGalYou do realize that the only people able to carry guns in your world would be cops... and this guy was a cop. And you are calling whom an idiot?

LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

@AliGal 

Have you ever been bullied? Confronted by thugs? Robbed, beaten, had your car jacked? Do you live in a very isolated area devoid of crime? My guns have gotten me out of several difficult situations over the decades, I suspect they will provide me with years of protection in the future. Pull out the weapon and all you see is ppl looking like crayfish, backing up quickly.

AndrewK777
AndrewK777

@lancasterpausa 


People who offend you deserve to die? Narcissistic much? 


We should probably kill people for jaywalking too. Right? 


LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

@lancasterpausa 

They have cell phone blocking devices for theaters, don't they? In 2014 who doesn't know that theaters are for movies, not cell phones?

MartinHarvey
MartinHarvey

@AndrewK777 His demise serves the greater good. This concept that people can go into any public space and annoy the hell out of other people who are paying money for a specific service needs to be put to an end. If the dead dude had just stopped texting and apologized for being an inconsiderate, obnoxious, rude, self centered, egotistical ass hole, he would still be breathing. It really is that simple.

bwweinstein
bwweinstein

Oh, it's much easier than that. This is Florida. He felt threatened and was standing his ground. End of story.

SteveP9090
SteveP9090

@LogicalPosition 

I hate these distractions in the theater too, but harsh judgment and penalty I would say, even if the rest of us movie-goers benefit from it.

bwweinstein
bwweinstein

This is why everyone should be carrying at all times. If some mouthy forty year old calls you names and throws popcorn at you, you can pop a cap up his ass and ride off into the sunset, secure in the knowledge that you "stood your ground". Molon Labe!

JulesEDF
JulesEDF

@LogicalPosition  Are you justifiying killing because of a disagreement? Of course the guy who didnt turn off the phone was wrong and dumb but that doesnt mean people have to shoot each other for that!

AndrewK777
AndrewK777

@requester47 


Most people do, but only the crazies carry them around every day looking for excuses to kill.

AndrewK777
AndrewK777

@oldsailor4 

And Florida law says killing someone over a meaningless argument is second degree murder. 

LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

@Onepatriot 

Wasn't the IDIOT the person who refused to turn off thier cell phone when asked? Where is the respect for our elderly in America?

SteveP9090
SteveP9090

@LogicalPosition

How would your gun have helped you here? Would you pull it out? Now we have a gunfight in a movie theater. An innocent bystander is likely to be shot now. Maybe someone's kid. Maybe yours.


I don't have a problem with non-law enforcement people (even though this guy was an ex-cop) owning and carrying guns. The problem is that people who shouldn't have them are allowed to have them. Like you. You sound like the bully. Maybe having it on you makes you more confident and more prone to being a bully. Maybe you are smart enough to know when not to pull it out. 

Gun ownership cannot solve the problem of peoples' inability to handle confrontational situations, and things get worse when both sides of the confrontation have them. A lot of people just see their own point of view, the one where someone is threatening them. And every year, unintended fatalities from guns far outweigh the intended.

naturalnorm
naturalnorm

@LogicalPosition @AliGal I'm sure that's EXACTLY the logic the alleged assailant had on his mind. He was "protecting himself" from the rogue texter. Sheesh.

KevinDeLong
KevinDeLong

@bwweinstein too bad he just did not move to another seat. Like most Nazi cops never talk  just whip out the gun and fire

CharlesAdkins
CharlesAdkins

@LogicalPosition @Onepatriot That doesn't make it okay to shoot him.  Not a logical position at all.  If that's the case then should individuals be allowed to shoot people who are texting and driving?  In that sense those people are at least breaking the law, which by your definition would clearly be logical positioning.  The former issue you speak of is, albeit a stance on respect, is not a law, but merely a courteous recommendation.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

@LogicalPosition @Onepatriot 

Logical:

You are anything but.  It may be annoying if someone violates theater prohibitions on cell phones.  Somehow, it would seem that in a rational universe that wouldn't be a capital crime.  But maybe for one man army wannabes, anything that offends them constitutes justification for murder.

Welcome to the United States of NRA, where it's  better to kill than to  put up with texting.

HateToSayItbut
HateToSayItbut

@bboru2000@HateToSayItbut@AliGal True enough but by law, as a retired law enforcement officer, he is legally able to carry a weapon in any state. In her fantasy world that would mean only people like him could do that and yet here we still are. It does invalidate her argument... jast sayin'.

LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

@AndrewKamadulski@LogicalPosition@DavidStrayer 

Theaters don't confront cell phone users, are you insane? Some wet-behind-the ears kid telling patrons to turn off their phones? SERIOUSLY? That dead perp couldn't read the "NO CELL PHONES AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES!" announcement? Who doesn't know this in 2014?

AndrewK777
AndrewK777

@LogicalPosition @AndrewKamadulski @DavidStrayer 


You are fantasizing. 


All that was required was for the murderer to get an usher and the problem would have been solved. Instead, he is an idiot who saw too many Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies and decided that he should be allowed to kill over nothing. Only a psychopath thinks this way. 

LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

@AndrewKamadulski@LogicalPosition@DavidStrayer 

This might seem trivial to you, but I suspect the dead perp bullied the cop with life threatening comments. The media now reports the cop's buds are SHOCKED they their friend is accused of killing this idiot. All that was required was a simple apology and turning off of the device, enjoy the movie. Some ppl need a killin to cure them of themselves, this cop musta sensed this was the case. 

sangsue
sangsue

@LogicalPosition there's a little girl who doesn't have her father anymore but I guess you'd blow her brains out too.

naturalnorm
naturalnorm

@LogicalPosition @AndrewKamadulski @CharlesAdkins @Onepatriot So according to your "logic" there should have been an on-screen warning to all movie patrons that shooting the person in front of them was prohibited by the rules of the theater. Yes, that would have prevented the ex-law enforcement officer from morphing into a raging vigilante. How else would he have known that murdering someone in the theater wasn't socially acceptable?

LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

@CharlesAdkins@LogicalPosition@Onepatriot 

I have had several incidents where I told ppl to move away from doorways to enjoy their smoking. I've gone to management with complaints. RUDE BEHAVIORS will not be tolerated in MY world. 

I "pack heat" because I know someday, some idiot will not comply, and I will have to defend myself from their offensive, threatening behaviors. I refuse to become a TARGET for rude ppl.

CharlesAdkins
CharlesAdkins

@LogicalPosition @CharlesAdkins @Onepatriot A number of people in my family, including myself and my fiance, have asthma.  If someone is smoking a cigarette within 50 feet of a building that has a sign that says no smoking within 50 feet of this building, does that give any of us or anyone else who is bothered by the smoking the right to shoot them as well?  If we are going to talk about finances here, medical bills sure are expensive.

CharlesAdkins
CharlesAdkins

@LogicalPosition @CharlesAdkins @Onepatriot I have reasonable expectations for all of those including myself, and even you, who are traveling and expect to get to their destination safely, that you should not have your life ended by a belligerent human who is ignoring the signs posted, some in big flashing lights that say no texting & driving.  No one said that he threatened this man either.   Nevertheless, what if an innocent bystander was hit and or killed?  Are they just a casualty of war?  

I do not disagree that this man was wrong and should have apologized and put the phone away.  He never should have taken it out/  Nevertheless, when someone does something wrong you report it, you don't take your gun out and shoot them and their partner.  This man could have gone to a theater employee and they would have either warned the employee or removed him from the  theater, this time still breathing.  

I have a feeling the action of this war film was triggering some "wars on the streets of Florida" in this old man''s mind.

LogicalPosition
LogicalPosition

@CharlesAdkins@LogicalPosition@Onepatriot 

Texting and driving is another matter. 

I pay $8-10 a ticket to watch a movie, I have REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS that will be met, QUIET, NO CELL PHONES! Theaters run an announcement before every movie, FGS! When you are confronted for violating said rules, DO NOT ARGUE, apologize and comply. Got it? Confronting your elders with threats is definitely worthy of a shooting.

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