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TOPIC: bang bang

bang bang 13 Jan 2014 18:36 #40542

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(CNN) -- A man was shot dead and his wife wounded after an argument over texting in a movie theater Monday afternoon in Wesley Chapel, Florida, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

The suspect, Curtis Reeves, is a retired Tampa police officer, Nocco said. He will be charged with second-degree homicide, according to Nocco.

Nocco identified the victims as Chad and Nicole Oulson, who he said were sitting in a row in front of another couple. An earlier release from the sheriff's department said the shooting occurred before a showing of the movie "Lone Survivor."

"There was an altercation because the victim was using his cell phone. He was texting," Nocco said. "This led to a verbal altercation, the verbal altercation escalated."

Reeves pulled out a .380-caliber handgun and as Nicole Oulson raised her hand, the shooter fired once, Nocco said.

A witness said the shooting happened during previews to the movie. Charles Cummings told reporters that Chad Oulson sat two seats from him and his son. Reeves was upset by Oulson's cell phone use and the two argued, Reeves then got up and left the theater for a brief time, Cummings said.

"He came back very irritated," Cummings said. Nocco told reporters that the shooter had gone to report the encounter to an employee.

The two men started arguing again and the cell phone user told the other man he was just texting his daughter, Cummings said. A few silent seconds elapsed and the argument started again.

Nocco said Oulson confronted the shooter about going to the theater employee.

Cummings said the argument got louder.

"Their voices started going up. There seemed to almost be a confrontation," Cummings said. "Somebody throws popcorn; I'm not sure who threw it. And then bang, he was shot."

The victim staggered over and fell on Cummings and his son. A nurse who was in the theater performed CPR on the victim until the paramedics arrived, said Cummings, who like his son, had spatters of blood on his clothes.

The shooter sat down and put the gun on his lap, and an off-duty deputy from Sumter County who was there to watch the film made sure the shooter didn't leave.

Nocco said Reeves was at the theater with his wife, and there was no indication that the two couples involved knew each other.

The shooting happened at about 1:30 p.m. inside one of the theaters at the Grove 16 complex, sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow said.

"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," Cobb Theatres, which operates the Grove complex, said in a written statement.
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bang bang 15 Jan 2014 05:50 #40545

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I've met both of these people before, multiple times. The patron who does something they aren't supposed to do, and when asked politely not to do it, responds belligerently, or simply has no clue that what they were doing was wrong. The other patron, the one who took matters into his own hands (or trigger finger) is the patron who lacks the patience to bring over a staff member or manager to diffuse the problem, and even worse, lacks the tactfulness to communicate politely or respectfully with the person whose behavior they are trying to correct.

Basically, two inconsiderate, disrespectful, impatient hotheads got too close for comfort, and unfortunately one of them had a gun, and the other one is now dead.

Incredibly, the ex-cop is already claiming he thought the other man was reaching into his pocket for a weapon, so he fired first in self-defense.

All of this could have been prevented by having a well trained usher inside the auditorium during the previews, which is when the incident occurred. If the usher required assistance, they should have a walkie-talkie to communicate with a manager. Instead, this is what happens. Most of the time, you're lucky if you see an usher at any time during the preshow or previews, and moviegoers have to rely on a trailer showing onscreen, which half of the audience is ignoring, to get people to quiet down and put their cell phones away.

Therefore, responsibility for this tragedy lies also with the theatre management, for failing to provide adequate supervision to prevent patron-to-patron confrontation, as well as with the texter, who should have put the phone away as soon as the previews began, and most of all with the gun owner, who had no business bringing a loaded gun into a movie theatre to begin with.

Rick
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bang bang 15 Jan 2014 08:42 #40546

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I heard or read that the shooter did get up and go out to notify theater staff about the texter's behavior. If so, and the staff didn't respond, then the theater bears a bit more of the responsibility for the tragedy. Even so, the shooter should have had better self control. Nobody should ever even have a loud verbal argument in a theater, much less throw things and shoot someone. If it's that bad, get up and walk out and demand the staff do something or give your money back. Nobody wants the inconvenience of leaving and coming back another time, but it beats having your experience ruined.

Another thought. There's a good chance that the texter saw nothing wrong with texting during previews, although the shooter certainly thought so. This difference of opinion can lead to problems. Perhaps the texter would never have pulled his phone out during the feature, but that wasn't good enough for the shooter. Still, if the theater does a good enough job educating their clients, then it could help alleviate the problem. What if the policy trailer isn't shown until the last thing before the feature? My theater has signs posted on the wall near the screen informing people to "silence and darken all phones". They see these when the first sit down or before. There are also smaller signs in other conspicuous locations with a picture of a cell phone with a red slash through it. That way, when I lean down and inform someone they need to put their phone away or exit the theater, they never argue.

If I were texting in a theater, I know I would anger everyone around me. My phone beeps with every press of a key, and it usually takes multiple presses to get to just one letter. Talk about annoying. I don't know how to turn the beeping off. It even annoys me.
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bang bang 15 Jan 2014 10:19 #40547

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I've had, as we all have, people come out at the end of a film: why was the heat off, the sound was too low, kids were talking, etc. etc. and for some reason they will not leave and come out and tell staff.

For a retired cop, used to handling things, that would probably be even worse.

The only thing I can take away from all this is that texting and email etc. use in a theatre really ticks people off.

The guy should have just said... "sorry" or walked out into the hall, the other guy should have waited to make his point once the movie started, and just maybe... no gun... no shooting.

Back in the day someone would have gotten popped. Now a guy is dead.
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bang bang 15 Jan 2014 12:44 #40548

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Education can go a long way. Unfortunately, I think the factors that lead to an event like this take a long time to develop.

When I had a quad indoor, I was pretty strict about not allowing outside food. I set my place up like all of the big chain theatres around me... "no outside food" signs on the front door... a reminder at the boxoffice and at the auditorium doors... age restriction rules for unattended children.

The problem was, I was the only theatre enforcing the rules. At all of the other places, the messages were meaningless. From the patrons' perspective, if the rules weren't enforced anywhere else, regardless of the signs, why should my place be any different? That alone created a lot of problems, when I would go into an auditorium and remove an uncooperative patron.

I go to the local indoor houses from time to time. They all have policy messages, asking people to turn their phones off. There always seems to be a few noticeable patrons, who ignore the message and continue to use their phones... at least until there's something on the screen they find more interesting than what they're texting about. Anti recording enforcement? How would anyone know if the patron was texting, talking or recording? There's nobody in authority to care.

Not surprisingly, the more-expensive venues, like the area Imax theatres, seem to have a higher compliance rate. I guess if you're paying close to $20 to see a show, you're more likely to keep your feet off the seats, your phone in your pocket and actually watch the movie.

I've always held the cynical view that many theatre owners are worried about confrontation with anyone, and the potential liability that might generate. Especially in a chain environment, upper management can't imagine giving individual authority to deal with these issues to the theatre manager, so they require a "hands off" approach. If a customer comes out to complain, there's a far higher liklihood that he'll get free passes than the manager will go into the auditorium and surgically deal with the one or two people who are making the event less enjoyable for everyone.

Yes, I'm aware there are exceptions, but I think the majority of chain operators set the rest of us up for this kind of problem.

Would it have been less likely that this shooting wouldn't have happened, if the theatre had an aggressive, enforced policy against texting and other disruptions? Given the personalities involved here, it might be hard to say. If the theatre had a reputation for dealing with this kind of nonsense, you'd like to think so.
Last Edit: 15 Jan 2014 12:46 by rodeojack.
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