On July 23rd, a lone gunman killed two people and injured several more at the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The incident is reported to have happened at approximately 7:39 central time.
Police are saying that the shooter was 59-year-old John Russel Houser – a white male “drifter” that previously lived in Alabama and was staying in a local motel.
Three people have died as a result of the shooting including the shooter. As many as 7 other people may have been injured.
It is believed that Mr. Houser stood up and just started randomly shooting, then tried to exit with the fleeing crowd. Upon noticing low enforcement closing in on him, he returned to the theater and turned the gun on himself.
Two white females were killed by the gun man. A 21 year old victim died at the scene while a 33 year old woman died at the hospital. One unidentified person remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Officials have confirmed that the weapon was a .40 caliber Hi-Point pistol legally purchased in 2014 from an Alabama pawn shop. 13 rounds were fired in the theater.
According to a witness, the shooting started 20 minutes into “Trainwreck.” A teacher is credited for saving many others as she pulled a fire alarm during the shooting, at which time she was also shot.
A moviegoer, Katie Domingue, said, “We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker,” and that she saw “an older white man” standing up and shooting down into the theater, but not in her direction.
“He wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t hear anybody screaming either,” Domingue said.
Reports are surfacing that police officers were in the building at the time shots were fired:
Louisiana official says 4 officers entered the movie theatre to engage the shooter. They heard shots being fired at that time. #khou
— The Bishop (@BillBishopKHOU) July 24, 2015
A local EMS service has tweeted that a total of 8 people have been transported to local hospitals and that the shooter may have committed suicide.
— Acadian Ambulance (@AcadianNews) July 24, 2015
John Houser appears to have planned on escaping after a clearly pre-meditated massacre. His vehicle was parked just outside an exit door. His motel room contained wigs and masks and his vehicle license plates had been switched.