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.
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) January 13, 2014
BREAKING Sheriff Nocco says Curtis Reeves, a retired TPD officer now charged with 2nd deg murder in theatre shooting pic.twitter.com/yGn8MycAdu
— Mark Wilson FOX (@MarkWilsonTV) January 13, 2014
2. He’s a Retired Police Captain
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
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
— Alcides Segui FOX 13 (@seguifox13) January 14, 2014
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.
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.