Man fatally shot at Fla. theater over texting

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm •  Published: January 14, 2014

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) — A 71-year-old retired police officer accused of shooting a man dead in a Florida movie theater told authorities that "he was in fear of being attacked" during Monday's confrontation.

Curtis Reeves is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson. A judge ordered Reeves held without bond during a court hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Pasco County Sheriff's officials say Reeves initially asked Oulson to stop texting at the theater in Wesley Chapel, a suburb about a half-hour north of downtown Tampa.

Sheriff's Detective Allen Proctor wrote that Reeves spoke to Oulson during the movie previews, then got up from his seat and informed management.

When Reeves returned to his seat "additional words were exchanged" and Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, the report said.

After officers read him his rights, Reeves told the detective that Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object, and that's when he removed a .380 caliber gun from his pants pocket. The report said Reeves fired the gun and struck Oulson once in the chest and that he "was in fear of being attacked."

Oulson's wife, who was also in the theater, had put her hand on her husband's chest prior to the shooting in an attempt to shield him. Officials say she was also struck by the bullet.

There were about 25 people in the theater at the time of the shooting, witnesses and authorities said. The movie playing was "Lone Survivor," about Navy SEALS in Afghanistan.

"I can't believe people would bring a pistol, a gun, to a movie," said Charles Cummings, who was sitting near Oulson and Reeves. "I can't believe they would argue and fight and shoot one another over popcorn. Over a cellphone."