A former police officer accused of shooting a man dead for texting in a Florida movie theater on Monday was denied bail when he appeared in court Tuesday to face second-degree murder charges.
Curtis Reeves, 71, allegedly began arguing with Chad Oulson when the 43-year old father was using his phone during the previews before the Lone Survivor at a theater in Wesley Chapel, Fla. Witnesses say Reeves left the theater to complain to a manager, but returned even more irritated, CNN reports. Oulson told Reeves he was just texting his young daughter, but the fight escalated. According to the police report, Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, and then Reeves shot him with a .380 semi-automatic handgun.
Both men were sitting with their wives. Oulson’s wife Nicole held up her hand to protect her husband when Reeves pulled out his gun, and but the bullet went through her hand and into her husband’s chest.
One witness heard Oulson say “I can’t believe I got shot” as blood started to come out of his mouth, CNN reports.
Some shocked witnesses apprehended Reeves after the shooting, while others performed CPR on Oulson until paramedics arrived. Oulson eventually died at the hospital.
Reeves, who was a captain in the Tampa police department until 1993 and later directed security at Busch Gardens, was charged with second-degree murder. He told police he fired his weapon at the victim because he was “in fear of being attacked,” according to the police report.
A judged denied him bail.