Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Texting in Florida theater leads to murder

Everyone hates the guy who uses his phone during a movie, but in Tampa, Florida, one movie customer was so irate that he actually opened fire in the Cobb theater during a screening of Lone Survivor this afternoon, leaving one dead and one wounded.

According to Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, the movie started out just fine, but then, two couples started to argue, “The victim was on his cell phone, he was texting. We believe he was making some kind of noise. This noise led to an altercation between the suspect and the victim.”

A witness said that one of the agitated men left the theater to get a manager, but came back without one. The argument escalated. At one point the male victim reportedly said said he was texting his daughter, 3, when the other man pulled out a handgun.

According to eye-witness Chris Cummings, ”Their voices start going up, there seems to be a confrontation, somebody throws popcorn, then bang, he was shot. I heard the victim say, ‘I can’t believe…,’ then he fell on us. I asked if the guy was OK, and he started gurgling blood and then fell.” Cummings called 911.

Both the texting man and the woman with him were shot. Her wound was reportedly not life-threatening, but the male victim later died from his wound at the hospital.

Another witness detained the shooter, who is in police custody.

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