Monday afternoon at Cobb Grove 16 Theater in Wesley Chapel, Florida, Chad Oulson was shot dead in front of his wife at a screening of Lone Survivor.
According to the Tampa Tribune, seventy-one-year-old former police officer Curtis Reeves was seated with his own wife, behind the Oulsons, and grew irritated with the noise Chad was making while texting his 3-year-old daughter’s babysitter.
Detectives say Reeves asked Oulson several times to stop texting, then left the theater to seek help from an usher. When he returned, Oulson asked whether Reeves had reported him to management. An argument ensued, and Reeves claims Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object. Witnesses do not report any punches, only that they saw popcorn go flying. Reeves then drew a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol and shot Oulson through the chest, also wounding Oulson’s wife.
Here’s what we know about the deceased:
1. He Married His Wife in 2006
According to Oulson’s Facebook page, March 23, 2006. The Oulsons moved to Florida three years ago, after meeting in Clayton, Illinois.
Chad’s timeline is dominated by photos of his daughter Lexi, posing with her parents for Christmas cards, sticking her tongue out at a mall santa, standing outside a local restaurant. Oulson is 43, ten years older than his wife Nicole, who sells insurance for USAA.
2. He Was a Big Fan of Power Sports
Oulson did financial work for Sky Powersports in Port Richey Florida, a retailer of motorcycles and off-road vehicles. The only thing Oulson appears to have loved nearly as much as his wife and child, is motocross. His Facebook likes are filled with professional motocross racers, and he has a profile on a dirt bike social network.
3. His Wife Called In Sick To Spend the Day With Him
According to the ABC affiliate in Tampa, Nicole and Chad worked different shifts, which, while helpful for childcare, wasn’t so great for romance. On the day of the shooting, Nicole called out from work to enjoy a lunch and movie date with her husband, while their daughter was at daycare. They selected the matinee showing of Lone Survivor so they could still pick up Lexi on time.
4. His Friends and Neighbors Are Devastated
Neighbor and friend Saverio Mongelli described Oulson to ABC as “a good, genuine person, funny guy,” before breaking down in tears. Mongelli and his wife moved to Sequester Loop in Land O’ Lakes, Flordia three years ago, just one week after the Oulsons’ settled into the neighborhood. Mongelli recalled seeing Oulson whenever he visited the community pool, playing with all the kids, luxuriating in the water, in his love for his daughter.
Oulson’s friend Joseph Trapani noted that Chad “doesn’t carry weapons, doesn’t hold weapons,” and argued that as a former security professional, Curtis Reeves never should have allowed the incident to escalate to the point it did. Trapani added:
“It is just going to be a huge hole in everybody’s lives for him and his family. He’d give you the shirt off his back if he needed to.”
5. Oulson’s Wife Tried to Stop the Bullet
According to the Tribune, when Reeves produced his weapon, Nicole lunged in front of her husband, putting her hand up to her husband’s chest, in an attempt to stop the bullet.
According to an eye-witness, Chat shouted “I can’t believe I’ve been shot,” before falling to the ground, and dying seconds later.
Here’s the arrest report: