Retired Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves, Jr., 71, went to see Mark Wahlberg's Lone Survivor film with his wife at the Cobb Grove 16 theater on Monday afternoon. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Reeves became agitated when he saw another theatergoer, Chad Oulson, 43, texting before the movie started.
Reeves repeatedly asked Oulsen to stop and an argument ensued, with Oulsen saying he had been texting his 3-year-old daughter.
Reeves allegedly pulled out a .380 semiautomatic pistol and shot Oulsen. Oulsen's wife, Nicole, suffered non-life threatening injuries to her hand.
After an off-duty police officer was able to subdue the gunman, Oulsen and his wife, were taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"He was a good, genuine person. I cannot believe this happened. He was just a funny guy," Oulsen's neighbor, Saverio Mongelli, told the Tampa Bay Times.
Cobb Theaters released this statement:
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.