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Man Shot Dead by Retired Cop in Florida Movie Theatre for Texting

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Arthur Weinreb/Digital Journal

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Wesley Chapel – A retired police officer is in custody after he allegedly shot a fellow theatre patron dead because he would not stop texting.

The incident happened yesterday around 1:20 p.m in a movie theatre in Wesley Chapel, Florida, just outside of Tampa.

The theatre was showing Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg. The movie was just about to begin and Chad Oulson, 43, was texting his three-year-old daughter. Oulson was at the theatre with his wife Nicole. Curtis Reeves, 71, was seated behind the Oulsons and apparently Oulson was making some sort of noise when he was texting. Reeves asked him to stop but he refused.

According to a witness, Reeves then became agitated and left his seat, presumably to find the manager. After he returned, the argument with Oulson continued.

Reeves then allegedly pulled out a gun and shot the 43-year-old once in the chest. When Oulson’s wife saw the gun, she put her hand on her husband’s chest in an attempt to protect him. She was hit with the same bullet that killed her husband and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy from a nearby county was in the theatre at the time. He seized the gun and detained Reeves until authorities arrived.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said, “To have a retired police officer – I don’t know what he was thinking at the time. I can only tell you, anybody, over a cellphone, to take their life, it’s ridiculous.”

Nocco called the off-duty deputy “a true hero” and praised two nurses who were in the theatre and tried to save Ouslon’s life.

Fox 13 in Tampa reports, Reeves left the Tampa Police Department in 1993 and when he was on the force he helped create the department’s Tactical Response Team. He then went to work security at Busch Gardens.

Reeves’ son Matthew has been with the Tampa Police Department since 2003. Reeves is being held in the Land O’ Lakes jail in Pasco County and is due to appear in court this afternoon when a bond could be set.


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