Saturday 27 December 2014

Man shot dead in cinema after 'row over texting'

Published 14/01/2014 | 10:42

A retired police officer has been charged with murder after shooting a man for texting during a movie screening in Florida.

Chad Oulson, 43, and his wife, Nicole, were shot after Mr Oulson used his phone during a screening of Lone Survivor on Monday.

Curtis Reeves, a former member of the Tampa police force, has been charged with second-degree murder after being accused of opening fire on the married couple.

Reports in Orlando say that the incident occurred after an argument broke out when Mr Oulson was asked by Reeves to stop using his phone at the cinema in Wesley Chapel, Tampa.

Charles Cummings, who was at the cinema with his son, told local reporters that the screening was only at the previews stage when the quarrel began. He added that Reeves had left the room to find a manager to make a complaint only to come back moments later. Once he had returned, the argument resumed.

"Somebody throws popcorn. I'm not sure who threw the popcorn. And then bang, he was shot," Mr Cummings said. "I can't believe people would bring a gun to a movie."

Mr Cummings claimed that the man fell back on to him and his son after being shot, with a nurse then coming to his aid to perform CPR on Mr Oulson. Both victims were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital but Mr Oulson died shortly after arriving. His wife's injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

"It ended almost as quickly as it started," said Pasco County Sheriff spokesman Doug Tobin.

Police confirmed that Reeves, 71, was detained at the scene by a Good Samaritan and is now in custody.

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