Louisiana police name gunman who killed two in cinema

Alabama man John Russell Houser named as attacker who shot dead cinema-goers

Three people are dead and several others injured after a gunman began shooting inside a cinema in Lafayette, Louisiana. Video: Reuters


Louisiana police on Friday identified John Russell Houser (59) of Alabama as the suspected lone gunman who opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing two and wounding others before turning the gun on himself.

It is believed Houser used .40 caliber handgun to fire 13 bullets into a crowd watching an evening screening of the film Trainwreck in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Thursday.

The shooting took place shortly before 7.30pm (local time) at the Grand Theater in Lafayette, a 16-screen multiplex on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city.

Chief Jim Craft of the Lafayette Police Department said that police officers entered the cinema complex while the shooting was going on. When they got inside the theatre, they found the gunman dead of a self-inflicted wound.

Chief Craft said three people were killed, including the gunman, and the injured had been transported to nearby hospitals. The conditions of the wounded, he said, “range from non life-threatening to critical.”

Chief Craft, who described the crime scene as “pretty chaotic,” said a handgun was used in the attack. He did not release the name of the gunman, and said it was too soon to know the gunman’s motive.

Sgt Brooks David of the Louisiana State Police said that the gunman was a 59-year-old “lone, white male.”

Witness Tanya Clark (36) said she went to the Grand Theater to celebrate her birthday with a viewing of Magic Mike XXL.

She was ordering drinks with her three children when she saw people run screaming through the theater lobby.

“I thought it was just a joke,” said her son, Robert Martinez (17) “People were screaming.” governor Bobby Jindal, who traveled to the shooting scene on Thursday night, described the shooting as “senseless.”

“When these kinds of acts of violence happen in a movie theater, when there’s no real good reason why this kind of evil should intrude on the lives of families who are just out for a night of entertainment, I know a lot of us are horrified and shocked,” Mr Jindal said.

New York Times