Friday, July 24, 2015

Louisiana Theater Shooting: Three Dead, Nine Wounded

Local news

A gunman killed two people and wounded nine others after standing up and opening fire about 20 minutes into a movie in Lafayette, Louisiana, police said. 

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said the 58-year-old man used a handgun and took his own life when officers arrived at the scene within about a minute. 

Dee Stanley, chief administrative officer of the city about 50 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, told MSNBC TV that some of the wounded were in "very critical" condition with life-threatening injuries.
The ages of the victims range from late teens to 60s, according to Craft. 

The gunman was sitting in the Grand Theatre 16 "just like everybody else" before shooting randomly during a screening of the movie "Trainwreck" at about 7:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. ET), Craft said. 

He added: "The information we have at this time indicates that he was by himself, he sat by himself and the first two people he shot were sitting right in front of him ... When he stood up and started firing, people started rushing out. It looks like he spotted the officers coming in and he turned around, went against the crowd and fired a single gunshot." 

Officials said the gunman had a "criminal history."


  1. "Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor told The Advocate that his office also denied Houser a pistol permit in 2006.
    "It appears he had some mental health issues," Taylor said."

    I don't really know if that also translates to him being a prohibited person since many permit laws allow a Sheriff to deny a carry permit due to the person being a danger to self or others and it might have been denied using this route.
    And I see that legal carry isn't allowed in the theatre,

    • Outside food or drink
    • Smoking including e-cigarettes
    • Possession of firearms or weapons of any kind regardless of whether openly orconcealed, with or without a permit
    • Disruptive or disorderly conduct
    Examples: shouting, screaming, noisy or boisterous activities, loud music, throwing objects, running, skating, “Heelys”, skateboarding, rollerblading, cycling, interfering with the free flow of pedestrian traffic, and any conduct that reasonably could be construed as interfering with or interrupting another’s right to enjoy the movie-going experience"

    I imagine it will take a while for more details to be revealed.

  2. It appears that Houser wasn't a prohibited person because he purchased the firearm through an FFL which of course ran the required NICS background check.

    "The gun Houser used, a Hi-Point .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol, was legally purchased in February 2014 from a pawn shop in Phenix City, Alabama, Craig said, citing the the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    Drew Griffin, a senior investigative correspondent for CNN, said it appears Houser was cleared to buy the gun because he didn't have any convictions for serious crimes.
    "He just didn't show up on any of the instant background checks," Griffin said."

    1. "It appears that Houser wasn't a prohibited person because he purchased the firearm through an FFL which of course ran the required NICS background check."

      I've just run across something that seems a bit weird.

      "In April 2008, Houser's wife, Kellie, his daughter and others filed court papers seeking a temporary protective order against Houser, saying he had "perpetrated various acts of family violence" and had a history of manic depression and bi-polar disorder.
      At the time, records show, Houser was vehemently opposed to the upcoming marriage of his daughter. A judge had Houser committed, but the man told his wife he would continue trying to stop the wedding and his "threatening behavior" once he got out of the hospital."

      So he was legally committed to a treatment facility for mental health issues, but for some reason his name wasn't entered into the NICS system as a prohibited person, which allowed him to pass an NICS background check when he purchased the handgun he used.
      Is anyone aware of any exceptions of this portion of the law> From what I've cited, he seems to have been adjudicated mentally ill. Am I missing something?

    2. It appears to be a case of reporters not asking the right questions,

      "The man who killed two people in a Louisiana movie theater last week was able to legally purchase a gun despite a judge’s order sending him to a mental hospital in 2008 because he was never involuntarily committed for treatment, a county probate judge and a state official told The Washington Post on Monday."

      "It was an ominous scene, the family’s attorney said later in a court petition — the latest example of Houser’s “volatile mental state.” A judge signed what is known as an “order to apprehend” Houser, and sheriff's deputies whisked him away to a state mental hospital in Columbus, according to court papers.
      Following standard procedure in Georgia, doctors could have evaluated and examined Houser for up to a week before making the key decision about what to do with him. At that point, they could either release him, persuade him to be admitted by his own agreement or petition a local probate court judge to involuntarily commit him for treatment — a formal judgment called an adjudication."

      Now the ball seems to be in the hospital's court to explain what happened.

  3. Hidden criminal, otherwise known as a lawful gun owner like so many others.