Man Shot Dead for Texting at Movie
Suspect is a retired Tampa police captain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2014 2:19 PM CST
Updated Jan 13, 2014 7:46 PM CST
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, front, walks out to update reporters after an argument between patrons over texting sparked a shooting that left one person dead and another injured in a Pasco County movie...   (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, Brendan Fitterer)

(Newser) – An argument over texting in a Florida movie theater today triggered a retired Tampa police captain to fatally shoot a man sitting in front of him, as about 25 horrified moviegoers looked on, sheriff's officials said. "Somebody throws popcorn. I'm not sure who threw the popcorn," said Charles Cummings, who was about to watch the movie Lone Survivor. "And then bang, he was shot." Curtis Reeves, 71, has been charged with second-degree murder; Pasco County Sheriff's officials said the shooting happened when Reeves asked 43-year-old Chad Oulson to stop texting at the theater in Wesley Chapel, a suburb about a half hour north of downtown Tampa.

Reeves and his wife were sitting behind Oulson and his wife. Oulson told Reeves that he was texting with his 3-year-old daughter, Cummings said. An initial argument escalated, and Cummings said the men started raising their voices and popcorn was thrown. Authorities said Reeves took out a gun, and Oulson's wife put her hand over her husband, and that's when Reeves fired his weapon, striking Nichole Oulson in the hand and her husband in the chest; her injuries aren't considered life-threatening. A man sitting next to the shooter grabbed the gun out of his hand, and the suspect did not attempt to get away, Cummings said. "It ended almost as quickly as it started," said sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 220 comments
winterfairy
Jan 15, 2014 7:06 AM CST
Whats funny is that all the anti-gun groups talk about how we don't need guns because we have calm, cool, professional police officers to protect us. What a joke.
Romneyinryan
Jan 14, 2014 8:24 PM CST
Rules state no texting, talking, etc. Have you ever had the pleasure of sitting beside some jackazz who does so blatantly ignoring the rules ? I do not agree that he should have been shot, but next time you are on a plane or in a theatre, you will think twice before thinking that you are above everyone else and ignore the house rules .
Scott603
Jan 14, 2014 7:52 PM CST
A cop escalated a small situation to the point of someone dying for nothing? Well, there's something new! Now, he's going to prison, but if he had been active duty instead of retired the Mayor would be on TV saying "Let's not rush to justice here! Let's get all the facts in first!" and he'd be on paid leave.