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Movie texter shot dead in Florida

Last updated 12:45 14/01/2014
us movie
Reuters

MOVIE SHOOTING: Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco speaks to the media as police tape surrounds the Cobb Grove 16 movie theatre in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

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A retired police officer has shot and killed a man who wouldn't stop texting during a movie in Florida, US police say.

Two couples had been watching Lone Survivor at The Grove 16 Theater in Wesley Chapel, north of Tampa, when the suspect and his wife apparently took issue with the couple in front of them over use of the phones, Pasco County Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said.

71-year-old Curtis Reeves asked Chad Oulson, 43, to stop texting.  When he didn't, Reeves allegedly shot him.

"It ended almost as quickly as it started," Tobin said.

Oulson and his wife, Nichole, were taken to a local hospital where he later died. His wife's injuries weren't considered life-threatening.

An off-duty deputy detained Reeves until police arrived, police said.

Reeves has been charged with second-degree murder.

Charles Cummings was at the theatre for his birthday with his adult son and told a group of reporters that the show was still in previews when the two couples started arguing.

Cummings said the man in the back row got up and left the auditorium, presumably to get a manager. But he came back after a few minutes, without a manager and appearing upset.

Moments later, the argument between the two men resumed, and the man in the front row stood up. Cummings said the men started raising their voices.

"Somebody throws popcorn. I'm not sure who threw the popcorn," Cummings said. "And then bang, he was shot."

Cummings said the man who was shot fell onto him and his son. Cummings said his son went to call police, while Cummings and another patron who claimed to be a nurse began performing CPR on the victim.

A man sitting next to the shooter grabbed the gun out of his hand, and the suspect did not attempt to get away, Cummings said.

"I can't believe people would bring a pistol, a gun, to a movie," Cummings said. "I can't believe they would argue and fight and shoot one another over popcorn. Over a cellphone."

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- AP

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