A gunman opened fire in a Lafayette movie house Thursday night before turning his handgun on himself.
3 DEAD, AT LEAST 7 INJURED
Three people died at the scene or a short time later, including the gunman, and at least seven others were injured. Hours after the shooting, three people remained in critical condition. Police said the victims ages range from late teens to 60s. More information on the victims will be released Friday, a Lafayette General Hospital spokesman said.
The gunman was 59-year-old white male named John Houser. Police said Houser used his semiautomatic pistol to kill himself after shooting the others. NOLA.com reported that the gunman may have seen two police officers who responded very quickly -- less than a minute -- before shooting himself. Police said he had a criminal background but not a recent one. Police checked for explosives in Houser’s car after the shooting, exploding the vehicle’s windows and trunk as a precaution. The bomb squad also checked out the theater after a dog alerted to a backpack. A reporter near the scene said no explosives were found in the theater. The same reporter said investigators were conducting a background check on the shooter in several states.
After visiting hospitalized victims, Gov. Bobby Jindal told a story of two heroic teachers, one of whom took a bullet to save the other, who was shot in the leg instead of the head as a result. The teacher who was shot in the leg managed to pull the fire alarm.
Actress Amy Schumer tweeted her concern after hearing the shooting occurred during the 7 p.m. showing of “Trainwreck,” her current movie.
3 YEARS AFTER AURORA THEATER SHOOTING
The Louisiana shooting occurred three years after James Holmes entered a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver and opened fire during a Batman film, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. That shooting took place on July 20, 2012. On Thursday, a jury decided Holmes is eligible for the death penalty. The sentencing phase of his trial started Wednesday and could last up to a month.