Curtis Reeves: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Curtis Reeves, 71, has been named by the Pasco County Sheriff as the suspect in the movie theater shooting that killed one man and wounded a woman in Wesley Chapel, Florida, reports Tampa Bay Online.

The altercation broke out at around 1 p.m. local time prior to a screening of the Mark Wahlberg movie Lone Survivor. The victim, Chad Oulson, 43, is said to have been texting his daughter when he was confronted by Reeves.

Wesley Chapel is a town close to Tampa,Florida it has a population of around 45,000.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. He’s Charged With 2nd Degree Murder

Reeves, 71, is suspected of shooting dead Chad Oulson and wounding his wife, Nicole Oulson, in the hand, in an argument over texting during a screening of Lone Survivor. He’s charged with second degree murder. In court, an attorney for Reeves called the case for second degree murder “weak” due to the altercation that saw Reeves attacked first with a bag of popcorn. Judge Lynn Tepper remanded Reeves in custody with no bond.

The weapon used was a .38 handgun, according to Tampa Bay Online.

See the arrest report below.

curtis reeves chad oulson

Chad Oulson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Chad Oulson was texting his 3-year-old daughter at a movie theater in Florida, when ex-cop Curtis Reeves allegedly shot him dead. Here's what we know about him.

Click here to read more

2. He’s a Retired Police Captain

Shooting Lone Survivor Florida Shooting Movie Theater Shooting Wesley Chapel Florida Suspect


Reeves is a retired Tampa cop. After retirement from the Tampa Police Department he went on to work as the Director of Security at Busch Gardens, a job he left in 2005. A Tampa Bay Online report says that Reeves retired in 1993 as captain. A TPD spokesperson said that Reeves had no contact with the department since retirement.

He was at one point the chairman of ASIS, an alliance of security personnel in the Tampa area.

My Fox Tampa reports that Reeves set up the city’s SWAT team. Fox Tampa also says that Reeves’ son, Matthew, is an active member of the TPD, serving since 2003, the report states:

He has nine letters of appreciation and an excellent duty award in his file, the department said.

3. He Was Restrained by an Off-Duty Cop

Curtis Oulson Shooting Lone Survivor Florida Shooting Movie Theater Shooting Wesley Chapel Florida Suspect

The victim Curtis Oulson. (Facebook)

Reeves was restrained by an off-duty cop after the shooting when police were called. The victim of the shooting has been named as Chad Oulson, reports Bay News 9. His wife, who was wounded but is expected to survive has been named as Nicole Oulsen. It’s alleged that Oulson had been texting his 3-year-old daughter when an altercation broke out between him and Reeves.

4. He Sits on the Board of a Crime Prevention Network

The St. Petersburg Times reported in 2005 that Reeves lived in Hernando County and was a member of the Crime Stopper board, a civilian crime prevention network.

Hernando County is about 30 miles away from Pasco County where the shooting took place.

A neighbor of Reeves, Bill Costas told Bay News 9:

A very nice guy. Alway smiling. I’ve never seen him angry. Very helpful. If I needed help with something he was always there to help. Totally different guy. Like I said, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Not from what I know of him.

In addition to his son Matthew who serves in the TPD, Reeves has a daughter, Jennifer. He also has one grandchild. According to his lawyer, who was speaking at bail hearing, Reeves’ wife is named Vivian and his client was born in Jacksonville Florida. In addition to his time in the police, he is a Navy vet. His lawyer spoke at length in court about Reeves’ medical complaints including high cholesterol, arthritis in his hands and requires an assisted breathing machine.

Shooting Lone Survivor Florida Shooting Movie Theater Shooting Wesley Chapel Florida Suspect

Reeves’ attorney. (NBC News)

5. One Responding Officer Was Worried He Was Walking Into Another Aurora

The shooting brought back horrible memories of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. Kareen Lasky, who was in a different theater to where the gunfire eripted told The Tampa Bay Times: “The first thing I thought of was the theater out there in the West [Aurora].” She also stated that she didn’t hear the shots in her theater and didn’t realize anything was going on till a theater employee turned off their movie and told the patrons leave.

Through a statement the movie theater announced that it will remain closed today.

Cobb Theaters’ official statement on the shooting read:

We are deeply saddened by the events that occurred earlier today, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. The theatre is currently closed, and we are actively working with the sheriff’s office on this investigation. This was an isolated altercation between two guests that escalated unexpectedly. The safety, security and comfort of our guests and team members are always our top priorities, and we are truly heartbroken by this incident.

Heartbreaking Photos of Chad Oulson, the Dad ‘Shot Dead for Texting at a Movie’

Chad Oulson, 43, is a husband and father shot dead in a movie theater, allegedly by 71-year-old ex-cop Curtis Reeves. See heartbreaking pics of Chad, his wife and their daughter.

Click here to read more

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  1. I still want to know was the gun in his pants pocket? Front pocket. If so why, Was his hand on the gun in his pocket? If so why? Retired cop professional when he went back he just wouldn’t let it go. No one younger than him is going to annoy him. This to me is a case that should go to trial. HAND ON THE GUN IN POCKET READY FOR ACTION. a stupid death.

  2. its all going to rest on the fact of where was Oulson shot and at what range to make Reeves’ story hold any water. everything I have read, she scolded him immediately after shooting his gun, he told his wife to shut the F up… sounds like he had the presence to know what he did didn’t look good. I’m a proponent of stand your ground, but my opinion is Reeves’ should go to trial.

  3. “In court, an attorney for Reeves called the case for second degree murder “weak” due to the altercation that saw Reeves attacked first with a bag of popcorn. ”

    So somebody throws popcorn and a retired police captain thinks this is justification to shoot and kill a man in front of his wife and a theatre full of people!!!????? Why is this man not in General Population yet? I hope his death in prison is long and excruciating. I also think his son shouldn’t be serving as a cop.

  4. His wife, son , daughter, family and friends failed Mr Reeves. They all knew he was walking around with his concealed weapon. They could of had it confiscated from the old “coot”

  5. The article states that there were about 20 people in the theater…either the couple could have been asked to change seats or the retired PO could have easily done so. The key is to de-escalate any such situation, particularly when one is armed, it just makes sense to adjust your own inner neanderthal, rather than expect the other party to do so. Even so, just how much disruption is really caused by the texting? Okay, that’s subjective, but just a point for anybody to consider, and is it worth killing someone over. The obvious answer to even the most degraded intellect, is NO! So get off your phat azz and move seats. The article states that Mr. Oulson was texting his daughter…really?…she’s 3 years old. How in the hell can he text her, unless she’s some kind of savant. He was likely texting his daughter’s baby-sitter, as other articles have stated, hence there is a dubious flavor to this writer’s perspective. On that same note, the writer states the calibre of Mr. Reeves’ pistol was a .38, and that’s not correct either. It was a .380, which is markedly different in performance to a .38 calibre.

    How anyone can make a case for being attacked by a popcorn-wielding assailant is ludicrous on its face. If he had been attacked, surely others would have seen it, heard it, and could testify to the same; but that does NOT appear to be the case. As for the characterization that this retire Tampa PO was a genuinely nice, polite and honorable PO…that isn’t conclusive proof that he was or is stable. Countless people are in prison for only one criminal incident in their lives. And personnel reports, whether from the PD, military records, Post Officer workers, or any other public service records, are replete with glowing recommendations and citations which give a false impression of the character of their personnel. Sadly, there are far too many people with short fuzes, anger management issues, and purged incident reports out there.