Movie theater gunman ID'd as former TPD Capt. | News
Wesley Chapel, FL -- We now know the identities of those involved in today's shooting inside the Cobb 16 theater in Wesley Chapel, and it turns out the gunman is a retired Tampa Police officer.
Sheriff Chris Nocco identified the gunman as 71-year-old Curtis Reeves. Reeves retired from Tampa Police about 20 years ago at the rank of captain.
He also, ironically, was instrumental in forming the department's tactical team, which is trained to handle the types of emergencies he himself created today.
They say Reeves and his wife were in the theater waiting for the movie Lone Survivor to begin, when Reeves got into a verbal argument with the couple sitting in front of him because they were texting during the previews.
He went to get a manager, but came back alone. That's when, Sheriff Nocco says, the man asked Reeves if he told on him for using his phone, and the argument got heated.
Witnesses say Reeves pulled out a gun and fired a single shot. The bullet went through the hand of Nicole Oulson, who stood up to defend her husband. The same bullet then struck and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulson. The couple was from Land O' lakes.
Witnesses who were right next to the victims when it all happened emerged from the theater, in some cases with their clothing spattered with blood.
A witness named David Schneck said he thought it was the beginning of the movie when he heard the shot. Lone Survivor tells the story of a Navy Seal whose team was wiped-out in a mission in Afghanistan.
"The guy shot said 'I was just texting my daughter, my three year-old daughter'," said Alex Cummings. "He said I can't believe I got shot."
Cummings was there to see the movie with his father, Charles. The victim fell on them as he spoke his last words.
"He staggered two seats over fell on my son and I," said Charles, "I can't believe they would argue and shoot one another over popcorn. Or even a cell phone. It's just horrible."
Other Witnesses said Reeves calmly placed the gun in his lap right after the shooting.
An off-duty Sumter County Deputy, also there to see the movie, then secured him until more units arrived to arrest Reeves.
He's since been charged with 2nd degree murder, and is being held without bond.
Reeves' son, Matthew, is currently a Tampa Police patrol officer, and will have served for 11 years this March. According to the department, he's earned nine letters of appreciation and one Excellent Duty Award, and has no discipline in his electronic file.
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