BREAKING: Retired Cop Shoots and Kills Texting Man at Lone Survivor Movie

The Grove 16 Theatre in Wesley Chapel, north of Tampa, FL (courtesy

Retired Tampa police officer Curtis Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson during the previews for Lone Survivor at the Grove 16 Theatre in Wesley Chapel earlier today. Witness Charles Cummings [via] said, “The two men started arguing again and the cell phone user told the other man he was just texting his daughter. A few silent seconds elapsed and the argument started again. Their voices started going up. There seemed to almost be a confrontation. Somebody throws popcorn; I’m not sure who threw it. And then bang, he was shot.” continues the story: “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.”

Needless to say, Alabama-based Cobb Theaters are gun-free zones.


  1. avatar Ralph says:

    Shooting people for texting during a movie is a bit extreme. Now, if they were talking, I could understand.

    1. avatar John L. says:

      Or … Shoot the phone?

      Just saying’.

      1. avatar John Onderdonk Jr says:

        Maybe he aimed for the phone, he was a cop after all.

    2. avatar peirsonb says:

      Was going to be my thought. I ignore texting anymore, but I did have someone actually make a phone CALL during Superman Returns. But it was Superman Returns, so really it was more interesting than whatever we missed…..

    3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      Don’t forget throwing popcorn. If you go around throwing popcorn in a theater you should probably expect to be shot.

      1. avatar james says:

        we should probably ban popcorn from all movie theaters it was obviously the instigator in this shooting. For all we know the popcorn was the one who shot the person and laid said weapon in that mans lap.

      2. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        You got a high-capacity popcorn tub? Or a Coke that’s >32oz?

    4. avatar Matt in FL says:

      During the previews, though. For real. I’m a complete jerk about people on their phones during the movie*, but I don’t care what people do during the previews, as long as they knock it off when the lights go down.

      I also find it helps to not see certain movies in the theatre. Certain movies attract certain viewers who either don’t care or find it perfectly OK to talk to or through the movie.

      *And yes, that includes texting. Wait ’til you have someone doing it in a dark movie and see how much light pollution that little screen puts out. In a stadium-style theatre, it’s obnoxiously bright even if they’re a dozen rows below you.

      1. avatar C says:

        If you’re planning to see the latest major release and find a job corps bus in the parking lot, just turn around and go home.

      2. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Hell, even those electric cigs stink, they have bright LEDs that just mess up your darkvision.. Folks like that make me a bit shooty..

    5. avatar doesky2 says:

      The only good thing about this story is that a bad (ex)cop gets sent to jail like a significant percentage of them should be. He probably did similar things to citizens when he was on the job and got away with it. Hopefully he ain’t going to get the special immunity he got before.

      1. avatar JTwig says:

        What makes you think this will turn out any different? Since he was an ex-cop they will have to put on more of a show, but in the end I’d be surprised if he gets more than a slap on the wrist.

        Of course this all depends on why he is an ex-cop; if he is an ex for bad behavior (which you know must be really bad if he was fired over it) then all bets are off. If he just retired, well then the will still bend-over backwards to help him out.

  2. avatar John L. says:

    Wow … I guess we should be taking the please-no-texting-during-the-movie blurbs more seriously.

    But really … I just don’t get why.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      It’s apparently a bit more complicated. The shooter requested several times that the man stop texting. He refused. The shooter left the theatre and returned. “Did you report me?” etc.

      A 20-years-retired police captain is the shooter, The guy who subdued him was an off-duty cop, no doubt younger and with a bigger gun.

      Matt in FL: Do FL retired cops need to bother with a permit in order to carry?

      1. avatar CA.Ben says:

        Retired cops get a special card that lets them carry (nearly) anywhere. They have to go in every so many years, shoot a bullshit qualifying score, and get their card renewed. Look up the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act.

        And yes, retired officers carry for their safety, while citizens are denied that right under the same premise of safety.

        1. avatar Keith in TX says:

          They have to range qualify annually.

      2. avatar Jacob says:

        Even if it was complicated, getting popcorn thrown at you doesn’t justify lethal force. Unless it comes out that the former-jackwagon actually threatened the retired cop, it is pure, flat-out murder.

        1. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

          Hey, all he was trying to do was to be able to go home at the end of his movie; that’s the only thing that really matters.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Barstow Cowboy: 😉 Now it all makes perfect sense!

    2. avatar Bob says:

      Studies have shown that cops government mercenaries commit more crimes than concealed handgun permit holders.

  3. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Now that is crazy. Gives both gun owners and texters a bad name.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Note that it was not “gun owners”, it was a retired COP!

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        Well, they don’t count as gun owners, do they?

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Well, they can legally own anything and carry it anywhere [rank and file gun owners can’t do both as a rule], so what do you think?

        2. avatar Taylor Tx says:

          oh you bet any lib rag will make SURE they use that brush to start painting.

    2. avatar Nordic says:

      No, it gives gun owners a bad name. Everyone already knows people who text and talk during movies are rude.

      1. avatar Mina says:

        so you’re saying because he owns a gun and I own a gun and he went off half cocked and shot someone that somehow reflects on me?

        No. Don’t think so.

        1. avatar Jacob says:

          No one says it should, and none of us want it to, but the media and libs will do their best to make it so.

        2. avatar noofus says:

          It may not reflect poorly on you or me, but it could get looked at as a rotten apple spoiling the barrel type thing. That is to say, “Look, here is a former cop, an anointed one, and even he could not handle the responsibility of carrying a gun. So if more average Joes on the street, who I trust even less, start carrying guns, there will therefore be more of these idiots shooting things for petty s—.” It is an argument that I’ve heard before.

  4. avatar Salwolff says:

    Retired officer shooting texters?!?! An officer of the law?Retired or not just goes to show anyone can flip.

    1. avatar Col. Angus says:

      Maybe he got confused, what with all the confusion and all, thought he was still on active duty.

      1. avatar brainman says:

        Nah. Then he woulda missed the texter
        and hit the nurse and the dog.

        1. avatar Korimyr the Rat says:

          “Nah. Then he woulda missed the texter
          and hit the nurse and the dog.”

          It least it wasn’t New York. In New York, they’d have pressed charges against the victim.

  5. avatar Braenen says:

    The question I want to have answered is, “Was the shooter leagally permitted to own a weapon?”

    I strongly suspect this was thug activity.

    1. avatar Rob says:

      He was a Retired cop. did you not read the headline?

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        I strongly suspect this was thug activity.

      2. avatar Braenen says:

        I completely missed that. I glanced at the story and went back to patching my servers. Man… that is nuts.

      3. avatar A. C. says:

        Retired Cops can lose the right to own or carry a gun for any number of reasons, such as domestic violence. Also, this business had declared itself a gun free zone, if Mr. Farago is correct.

        1. avatar Steve Truffer says:

          Cops are exempt from domestic violence. That was added very shortly after NICS was mandatory, and the unions and departments discovered how many wifebeaters they had.

  6. avatar Justin says:

    Shooter was a retired Tampa police officer so the “Gun Free Zone” signs have no affect on him.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Or pretty much anybody else except the law-abiding.

    2. avatar Pulatso says:

      Gun free zone signs have no weight of law in Florida, only a few places not allowed by law. And movie theaters aren’t one of them.

    3. avatar Paul B says:

      I’m not sure what relevance it is that the theater was a gun-free zone. If we assume bad guys don’t honor them what would be the outcome of a good guy had a gun too? Pretty much the same outcome. Two guys arguing and one guy pulls a gun and shoots but does little more. No real room for a good guy with a gun to be a hero here. Gun-free zone or not, the story would have been exactly the same.

  7. avatar Steve says:

    The ironic part is that it was a retired police officer who did the shooting, thus destroying antis argument of only police and military needed handguns as they’re the “trained ones that we can trust to know when or when not to shoot”

    1. avatar Guy says:

      And that’s a real danger if they have any rhetorical sense. Pretty soon they’ll be bleating that guns are too dangerous for anyone to own.
      Conversely, those that don’t think that police should get special treatment could be using it to our advantage- although it’s outright scummy to politicize every little thing.

    2. avatar Model 31 says:

      facts, shmacks…insert fingers into ears.

  8. avatar Venator Magnus says:

    From a report I just read from a family member living in Wesley Chapel:

    “The shooting suspect, identified as retired Tampa police officer Curtis Reeves, 71, became annoyed when a couple sitting in front of him were texting during the movie’s previews, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s office.”

    1. avatar Heartland Patriot says:

      And since the mass news media ALWAYS have an anti-firearms bias, how do we know there isn’t more to this story than is being reported. Such as, what if Mr. Texter told the former police officer that he was going to kick his backside for complaining, in other words, communicated a threat of bodily harm? That’s just as plausible as a former police officer shooting a guy just for texting, as the story makes it out. Not saying there aren’t “jerk cops” but then again, there are a LOT of people who are jerks AND think they are “tough guys”, too, and not all of them are police either. (And no, I’m NOT a cop.)

  9. avatar imrambi says:

    ABC is reporting that the shooter is a retired “Only One” and a off duty “Only One” held the retired one at bay.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:


      1. avatar Steve says:

        “Only One” meaning antis view officers as the “Only ones” who should be carrying concealed as we, the unwashed masses, cannot be trusted.

  10. avatar Taylor Tx says:

    Retired mythical officer of stalward character? You mean to tell me a NON armed civilian took down an armed and “professionally trained” individual? trolololol 🙂

    Thats like a gun control catch 22 in itself.

    1. avatar Taylor Tx says:

      Seems the connection between if the deputy actually stopped him or just made sure he didnt leave after the fact?

      This just reminds me over and over again: “If you wouldnt do it without the gun, you sure as shit shouldnt do it with it.”

      EDIT: Does anyone who has a 3 year old that can text? Can your 3 year old comprehend said texts? confused as to how the victim said he was texting his 3 year old.

      1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

        Baby sitter?

  11. avatar Scott Henson says:

    Hmm, Florida. Has CNN blamed Zimmerman yet?

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      I’m waiting to see “retired neighborhood watch leader shoots innocent young boy” on all msm sites.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        maybe it was GZ’s father? At least that is how they will blame him

      2. avatar Alan Rose says:

        Almost. “Retired Busch Gardens security officer shoots father.”

  12. avatar Keith in TX says:

    Needless to say, the Alabama-based Cobb Theater chain’s cinemas are Criminal Safe Zones.

    There, fixed that for ya.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      As I read, “criminal safe zones”, it occurred to me that readers who are not immersed in the fight for our rights could interpret that as a place that is safe for the public because there are no criminals in that location.

      I like the alternate descriptor, “criminal empowerment zones”.

    2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      The Alabama-based Cobb Theater chain’s cinemas are private property and their wishes should be respected.

      1. avatar Alan Rose says:

        I “wish” my dogs pooped gold bricks. My safety is more important that private property rules, especially when they do not involve law violations. Here in VA signs/rules mean nothing other than manager has something to point at when he asks you to leave.

    3. avatar Elliotte says:

      Are we sure the theater is a gun free zone? I saw nothing on the corporate website and the local one here in VA didn’t have any signs last time I went.

      1. avatar Keith in TX says:

        That’s what the article states.

  13. avatar Joel says:

    Really odd coincidence because just as I returned home from a movie here in Sarasota, where, as usual, I was concealed carrying, I flipped on the news and this was the story that was on. Strange.

  14. avatar S.CROCK says:

    all the shooter has to say is “I’m a cop and i thought he was reaching for a gun.” then everyone will be like oh ok and thank you for your great work.

    on the flip side what if this was a dgu? maybe he asked the texter to stop texting and the texter threatened him. at my local theater an incident like that happened. a guy asked a group to stop texting and they dragged him out of the theater and beat him.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      “maybe he asked the texter to stop texting and the texter threatened him.”

      With popcorn?

      1. avatar Joel says:

        Information is preliminary but this certainly does not look like a dgu. It looks a lot like Mr. Retired PD has anger management issues and just made it worse for the rest of us who legally carry concealed and aren’t one argument away from flipping out. Even if the other guy threw popcorn, or threatened him, or threw a punch, none of these are grounds for shooting. This idiot just hurt us all.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          The old cop was just trying to “teach some whippersnappers some manners.”

      2. avatar ropingdown says:

        Maybe with verbal threats or a shove? Maybe a cell-phone photo of a knife?

        Frankly I’m so sick of loud cell-phone users I could scream. No, not shoot, but scream. I did stop a meeting last year until the ass with the beeps turned his phone off.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          I usually offer to nail the phone to the wall. Normally works.

        2. avatar Edward Teach says:

          I’ve often wanted to to this:

          This is why I download movies.

      3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        Assault with a buttery weapon? That won’t fly, not even for a retired cop.

        1. avatar PhilWilson says:

          In a moment of anger the poor retired cop forgot that the old days, in which he would have had a throw down gun conveniently tucked into one of his socks, are in fact over.

        2. avatar Mark says:

          He got the popcorn salt in his eyes!

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          He got the popcorn salt in his eyes!</b

          Mr. Fuji? 😀

          ( )

      4. avatar S.CROCK says:

        or fists, feet, knife, impact baton, or any other sort of weapon.

        but i agree, most likely he was a trigger happy cop.

      5. avatar Alan Rose says:

        Great place to stash your heater. Just skip the extra butter.

    2. avatar Myshkin says:

      You police apologists/worshippers stop at nothing, do you? Give it up; the public is starting to (finally) learn the truth about your heroes.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        In the words of the 90’s rap duo Public Enemy, “most of my heroes don’t appears on a stamp”

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          Wasn’t Biggie on a stamp? A really large stamp?

        2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          not to get into an East Coast vs West Coast rap battle, but I prefer the lyrical rhymes of Tupac

        3. avatar Wark says:

          Public Enemy came out in the ’80s, they weren’t a duo, and what does Fight The Power have to do with anything? Weak, bro.

  15. avatar Chuck in IL says:

    Retired police Captain. Apprehended by an off duty Sumter County deputy.

    My sister lives in Wesley Chapel. My brother went to school with the victim here in Illinois. He had a beautiful wife and 3 year old daughter and it’s a goddamned shame he is dead.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Well, there’s two more folks (the wife and daughter) who will probably be anti-gun for life thanks to this douchebag. I’d like to drive over there and punch him in the throat just for that.

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        or maybe just anti-cop

      2. avatar Chuck in IL says:

        I’ll pay for your gas.

        1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          roadtrip – I got shotgun

      3. avatar William Burke says:

        He’s not going to prison, is he?

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. He’s been charged with 2nd degree murder. Or did you mean he’s not going to make it to prison? If that’s the case, it won’t be due to any action of mine. See, this makes me fucking angry, but I’m also lazy, and point #2 always outweighs point #1. Without fail.

    2. avatar Mark says:

      I guess he should of thought twice about texting in public.

  16. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Bloomberg is hiring for his security detail

  17. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Too bad for the shooter he’s retired. If he was still on the force he’d have just scored himself a month’s paid vacation.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Absolutely true. And it would have been a paid vacation!

      Regardless he will be treated well as he is “ex-cop”

      1. avatar noofus says:

        Not only that, but he would have gotten a paid vacation to boot!

        1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          Sa da tay!

        2. avatar noofus says:

          Wa da tah!

  18. avatar crm114 says:

    “He was instrumental in establishing the department’s first Tactical Response Team,” the statement explained.
    Sounds about par for a no-dick SWATer.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      As they say, “you can’t make this sh-t up.”

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        just like Benghazi, fast and furious, etc, the anti-gunners will throw this jack-ass under the proverbial bus and cut him loose. . . .

  19. avatar David says:

    Have to see how it plays out. But it certainly seems like it will add some fuel to the fire about the relative homicide conviction rates of different groups. General public at the top, followed by active and retired law enforcement officers, with concealed pistol licensees a distant third.

    I have seen the numbers for this from Florida, I believe, does anyone know if such analyses are being done on a wider scale nationally?

  20. avatar J.Brown says:

    At the beginning of the movie it says turn them off, dude had it coming.

    Also, if you have to make a phone call or text someone, get the hell up and walk outside the theatre.

    1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      Are you fvcking serious? FLAME DELETED

      1. avatar Steve says:

        I’m not going to defend what J.Brown said, nor am I going to attempt to justify this shooting in any way.

        However, as the old saying goes, “an armed society is a polite society.”

        I have a strong suspicion that the victim in this tragedy was being a complete and utter dick. And you should never be a dick to strangers, because you never know if they have a gun…

        1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

          We will most likely never know. I see it as the retired SWAT officer being a phone nazi, and it escalated to a terrible ending. The guy got up once, he could have moved if he had wanted to. But that authoritias is a powerful drug.

        2. avatar Nordic says:

          Sure, because shooting someone for texting in a dark theater is the epitome of politeness.

        3. avatar Alan Rose says:

          They said there were 25 attendees in the whole place. So why were they sitting right next to each other? Why not move?

        4. avatar Stinkeye says:

          “Move? Why should I move? I was here first, GODDAMMIT!”

          This is what happens when you have two assholes being dicks to each other. Sounds like either one could have de-escalated the situation in a number of ways, but their macho bullshit egos wouldn’t let them.

        5. avatar Michael says:

          Each man’s wife was there. Women have indirectly caused many men’s death.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      During the movie, I agree with you about the “take it outside” part. But this was still during the previews.

      As for the “had it coming” part, troll harder.

    3. avatar Manny says:

      At the beginning of the movie, yes. Before the previews, no.

  21. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    I think the Bloomberg/Watts Sideshow should lobby for an end to police carve-outs. Active duty or retired, I don’t care. They should be subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      Won’t happen. People like them depend on police unions to get them and their ilk elected.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        won’t happen, people like them and their ilk rely upon RETIRED police to be their armed security.

        there – fixed it for ya

  22. avatar ken says:

    Funny no photos of cop

  23. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    This makes me sad for many reasons. Looks pretty bad, can’t see any excuses to make for him even if I wanted to. Which I don’t.

    I bet there’s more people here than just me who have watched dozens of movies while armed, without shooting anyone at all.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      Like me, about an hour ago.

    2. avatar Taylor Tx says:

      I plan on seeing lone survivor this week when me and my wife have a day off 🙂

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        ironic that the movie Lone Survivor stars a notorious anti-gunner who has a conviction for assault and probably cannot legally own a gun

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          Yeah… didn’t he beat the living crap out of a Vietnamese man? Was this in Boston?

    3. avatar DisThunder says:

      I’ll do you one better- I’ve been to dozens of movies while carrying, and haven’t even shot the projector, which for some movies would have been a community service.

    4. avatar CarlosT says:

      Pretty much every time since I got my CPL in 2011.

  24. avatar Bob in NC says:

    In reality, the act of texting probably is not the problem. It’s the notification ‘ring’ of the incoming response that infuriates someone trying to watch a movie that he paid good money to enjoy. If theaters still had ushers, the man would have been evicted for breaking the ‘no phones’ rule in every theater. I can understand the frustration, but I think I would have demanded my money back and avoided that theater in the future rather than shoot the bastard . . .

    1. avatar DJ says:

      If you have an Alamo Drafthouse in your area, they have an enforced ban on talking/texting during the movie. One warning, and then the offender is shown the door.

      1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        I would LOVE to see some of the video from this in a Drafthouse pre-film promo, but I doubt they have the same appreciation for tasteless humor as me.

        Drafthouse promo:

        Tasteless humor:

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I disagree that texting isn’t a problem. When that screen lights up in a really dark theatre, it flashlights the whole room because your eyes are so sensitive.

    3. avatar Steve says:

      I, too, am frustrated when I pay good money to see a movie in a theater, only to have it ruined by my fellow attendees. My solution: never go to the movies.
      -the theater experience can be easily rivaled (often surpassed) by home entertainment systems
      -there are no irritating patrons
      -there isn’t a full 30 minutes of previews before the movie starts
      -you can watch what you want, when you want to, without having to show up early
      -you can enjoy reasonably priced snack food, and alcoholic beverages aren’t prohibited
      -for the price of one movie ticket, you can purchase a netflix subscription for an entire month

      The movie theater industry should have died years ago. I’ll continue to do my part to kill it.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Amen. Been to 2 movies in the last 8 years. 1 was a freebie and the other was a last ditch escape from a hen fest at my house.

        And in this day and age who confronts a stranger? Somebody is unaware of the existence of guns?

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          That last part is my question. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll shush people in a theatre if they get really obnoxious, especially if they’re on their phone, but I don’t get up their face. I make one comment, two max, and after that I’ll go find an employee. Call me a dick if you want, but I’ve had people thrown right the hell out*, and more than you can count on one hand. I didn’t pay $11 bucks to listen to you.

          In my defense, I didn’t get them thrown out. Their behavior did. Most of them continued to be inconsiderate assholes up to and beyond the point that they were spoken to by an employee.

  25. avatar Jeff says:

    the gun was a .380, so I’ll just assume that he bought it because everybody on forums told him a .380 is a worthless mouse gun incapable of killing anyone. therefore making it an excellent choice as a less-than-lethal weapon.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:


  26. avatar Jared says:

    Good thing for LEOSA right? Cops and retired cops are first responders against terrorism in a post 9/11 world.

    Like that idiot retired NYPD assemblyman in New York said! retired cops need their high cap mags and the ability to carry because they are an “experienced” class of people.

    1. avatar BT in Afghan says:

      By that logic, would you not also include active duty and retired military to the “experienced” class of people? Probably far better trained and experienced with weapons. I would much rather have retired military with me than retired police. Plus after 20+ years in the military this is a right you truely fought for,

  27. avatar Dave s says:

    this is why I wait for the DVD to come out

    1. avatar Jared says:


      I wait for video as well. It’s cheaper, and you usually get the directors cut and deleted scenes and most importantly, I can pause the movie.

  28. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    Anyone else wondering if it’s an Alzheimers/dementia thing, considering the age? Not that it would be an excuse, of course.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      That’s a long shot imho. More likely anger/control issues.

      When you are used to people immediately complying with your instruction in uniform, it’s hard to let that sense of control go. You get into one of these situations, and the other party doesn’t acquiesce, getting angry because you can’t slap cuffs on them or assert your will.

      He did the right thing first by leaving. When he returned, he should have had a manager with him to remove the offender. Instead, he let his anger get the best of him.

      1. avatar BT in Afghan says:

        Anger issues, it sucks to get old but the alternative to me is far worse.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I doubt Alzheimer’s/dementia – he wouldn’t have acted that deliberately. +1 on anger/control issues. That fits better. With just a touch of PTSD too?

  29. avatar S.CROCK says:

    @ J.Brown
    “At the beginning of the movie it says turn them off, dude had it coming.”

    thats like saying if you don’t follow some basic rule of society like washing you hands after using the bathroom, you deserve whatever punishment society wants to hands you.

    he may have had it coming, but not for simply texting.

  30. avatar Pulatso says:

    I would like more details about the confrontation before I decide if I think this was justified or not. It’s a big step from thrown popcorn to shooting, there is probably more to the story (even if the more to the story is a burned out cop who has a history of anger issues).

    I will say, retired cop or not, at 71, a punch can prove fatal. If he was threatened with physical violence, he could be well justified in drawing his gun. And Florida law is odd about drawing a gun and not firing it. The much maligned FL self defense laws only explicitly cover you when you actually use force, implied threat of force is not explicitly covered (there is a bill gaining steam in the Florida House right now that will expand to cover threats of force), meaning from the stand point of the law, if you are justified in defending yourself, you are legally in better shape to draw and fire than draw and threaten. Although I would probably take that risk, rather than fire into a full theater.

    1. avatar Myshkin says:

      Anyone else would be charged with murder for playing any part in escalating a conflict that lead to using deadly force. He could have not participated in an argument whatsoever, or left.

      1. avatar Pulatso says:

        Oh, I agree. But charged and convicted are two entirely different things.

  31. avatar rhampton says:

    71 yrs old — hmm, could be Alzheimers.
    Aggressive behaviors may be verbal or physical. They can occur suddenly, with no apparent reason, or result from a frustrating situation. While aggression can be hard to cope with, understanding that the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia is not acting this way on purpose can help.

    1. avatar JR says:

      Then should he be carrying a gun…cop or not? Isn’t mental health one of the standards the rest of us are held to?

  32. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

    Man, this is almost as bad as that white guy on neighborhood watch who killed a 10 year old black kid bringing candy home to his brother so they could watch a movie together.

    My point is that we have no idea how this happened.

  33. avatar J.Brown says:

    My comment about having it coming was completely out of line.

    It’s just so frustrating going to the movies or really any public experience that is completely ruined by rude people. I simply don’t go to movies anymore, or many restaurants either. People’s manners have just gotten so coarse that my indignation got the better of me with that comment.

    When I made my commitment to carrying a very wise instructor really drove home the point to me that carrying was an awesome responsibility and first and foremost de-escalation is the primary response if it all possible. Meaning, don’t go places where trouble can find you. It’s just too bad a person can’t even enjoy a movie in a theatre anymore without being surrounded by knuckleheads.


    1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      “It started with a father texting his daughter during the previews of a movie.”


  34. avatar Shawn F says:

    So can anyone tell me why this is national news, but this DGU is not?–239825561.html

    1. avatar JR says:

      Why? Doesn’t fit the MSM narrative…

    2. avatar Daily Beatings says:

      Because a CWP carrier stopped a mass shooting, that’s why.

  35. avatar Bill says:

    He must have been getting senile and thought he was active duty LEO, those guys get away with murder all the time.

  36. avatar Shawn F says:

    Reading down through the comments makes me a bit sad, and a bit angry. Did the guy need shot? We don’t know. Did he threaten? We don’t know. All I can tell from the articles is that there was a disagreement, a loud argument, popcorn (popcorn?) thrown, and one person is dead; another wounded, and someone gonna be on trial and having to deal with this.

    No matter how much we hate the anti’s for trying the ‘class warfare’ thing with police and ‘civilians’, Monday morning quarterbacking is not the way to go. My personal belief is he should have walked away, but again: I don’t know what happened. Will we ever?

    1. avatar Myshkin says:

      It doesn’t matter what happened; no one else can shoot someone for “threatening”.

      1. avatar Mark says:

        Why yes you can. A 71 year old man can use a little more force than a younger man. Even an unarmed man depending on what the perception of the 71 year old man was. Did the texter advance on him? We won’t know until the details come out later.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Disparity of force.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      But something that stands out to me is that the shooter left the theater, reportedly to find a manager, and came back to the very person he had a disagreement with. That’s a hard sell for self-defense there. Hopefully more details will come out about the incident. (Perhaps the shooter went back to retrieve his spouse??? IDK, it’s puzzling to me why he would go back unless he was having some difficulty cooling his temper.)

    3. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      He did walk away. But he came back. He could have switched seats, the theatre was not full. He could have done a lot of things, but instead he insisted on proving he was right, and in doing so took the life of an unarmed father of a three year old girl. Anyone on here who in any way justifies or semi justifies this shooting is in an idiot.

      1. avatar Shawn F. says:

        Here is one of the problems with today’s society that I see; absolutism. Because we are trying to find some reason for this guy’s action rather then ‘He just snapped’, we are ‘idiots’. Wow, just wow.

  37. avatar Terry Vanderpuke says:

    They need cell phone jammers in all Theatre’s, I would’nt have shot that clown I would have just broke this face

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Doesn’t federal law still prohibit those jammers?

    2. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      For texting during the previews? That is enough for you to resort to physical violence? I am losing a lot of respect for my fellow TTAG readers.

  38. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    here is some info/pics on the victims. . . . . damn shame

    and the retired cop/douche was head of security @ Busch Gardens which I believe is a very anti-gun place:

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      here is a pic of the douche, I mean shooter

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Truly tragic.

    3. avatar William Burke says:

      And they repeat the absurdity that he was “texting his 3-year old daughter”!

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        my nephew is 2 1/2. He has figured out how to do some texting and make calls. I was getting random texts from my sister in law that just said “Hi” followed by gibberish. The phone even rang a few times and I just heard someone saying “hi” . . . I finally called her and she explained nephew got his hands on her phone. Is It possible? Sure

        1. avatar XAVIER CACERES says:

          My 3 year old can text me a picture from my wife’s phone

  39. avatar C says:

    It’s those damned violent movies again.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      It’s those video games causing it…the ones for seniors, like “Shuffleboard Hell: Love Boat Power Down.”

  40. avatar FoRealz? says:

    Could he have just moved to a new seat if it really bothered him that much? Sure could have.

    Could the cell guy have just stepped out in the hall and texted or whatever? Yup.

    Dumb and needless.

    You know, I have a theory. Yeah pull on your boots.

    But the theory is that the more people feel kind of put upon, pushed around or generally disregarded by a rather impersonal society, the more likely they are to lash out disproportionately to perceived slights face to face. Like they can’t control what happens to them in the big picture and feel a bit powerless, so they seek to hyper control what’s right in front of them. Taking out their generalized anger on the first person to light their fuse.

    Like the retards I meet at the sportsmen’s club who take great delight in telling me that they carry and “They hope some fucker tries something!” Herp-derp.

    Yeah, well, I hope my life continues to be boring.

    Of the course the shooter could just be a grumpy old fart power tripping. Respect my AUTHORITAY! Old habits might be hard to break.

    We’ll see.

    1. avatar JR says:

      If those concealed carriers are saying that, perhaps they had better hope they never do get into a defensive gunfight. Those words could come back to haunt them, especially if the case someone goes high profile.

      And, it’s stupid anyway…to wish yourself into a fight for survival? Egads.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      “Of the course the shooter could just be a grumpy old fart power tripping. Respect my AUTHORITAY! Old habits might be hard to break.”

      I’d go with that. I can definitely see him frustrated at being disobeyed and disrespected. In support, Dirk pointed to this in his second “bio” link above:
      “Reeves is a retired Tampa cop. After retirement from the Tampa Police Department he went on to work as the Director of Security at Busch Gardens. A Tampa Bay Online report says that Reeves retired in 1993 as captain. He was at one point the chairman of ASIS, an alliance of security personnel in the Tampa area.”

      Seems to support that theory pretty well. BTW, as a long-time ASIS member, I need to point out that he was the chairman of the Tampa/St. Pete ASIS Chapter, not ASIS International. Still, a big fish in a moderately-sized pond nonetheless.

  41. avatar great unknown says:

    If the victim threw the popcorn, the shooter may have a stand-your-ground defense.

    This whole story is just sad.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      he has been charged w 2nd degree. they have rejected his SYG claim . . . now he has to try to convince a jury. I am hoping he said something incriminating to the LEO who arrested him, but there were plenty of witnesses . . . someone throwing popcorn does not place you in immediate apprehension or fear for your life. No, mr retired “i am God” po po is screwed

  42. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    went over to MDA’s webpage and nothing, NOTHING on this tragedy . . . . hmmm, oh yeah, he was a retired demi-God !!!

  43. avatar BT in Afghan says:

    Lone Survivor is a good movie, although I don’t think it is good enough to kill someone over it. The movie is not a good as the book and I think they could have found someone other than Marky-Mark to play the lead, but those are only my opinions.

  44. avatar Adub says:

    What a bizarre incident. And it just goes to show you that crazy shit can happen anywhere. People need to treat others with respect and not be a dick, because you never know who is packing what.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Not to diminish your point, but I like the idea of not being a dick simply to not be a dick. I don’t have to be afraid that someone else is armed to treat those around me with basic civility and respect. I do it because I expect it in return, not because I’m afraid of getting shanked in the shower.

      1. avatar Adub says:

        I believe in the Golden Rule, too. I simply don’t have it in me to be a dick.

        Reading the news reports about the gunshot would to the wife (she placed her hand between the gun and her husband) and the dying man’s comments, it sounds like the retired cop brandished his firearm to ensure cooperation, didn’t get it, and fired. Which is proof that some people don’t know when to shut up.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          And which will probably sink him in court. If he’s smart he’ll deal.

      2. avatar Jus Bill says:

        That’s exceptionally sage advice, IMO.

  45. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    Government employees and ex government employees should not be allowed the same rights as honest citizens.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      So, you’re all for ditching the constitution? Just like kapo bloomberg and shannon watt and barry? I guess we see which side of the 2a you’re on.

  46. avatar Taco says:

    Yet cops get to carry everywhere because they are cops…as if they magically are incapable of crime… So why on earth can I not have these rights? I managed to get through the day without shooting anyone…

  47. avatar FoRealz? says:

    Someone up above commented about coarse manners in today’s society. I agree.

    You see, I only lash out in impotent rage on the net where I’m safe from physical danger. In real life I’m courteous to everyone and patient with other people’s imperfections, quirks, hang ups, whatever you want to call them.


    I think displaying manners and courtesy are important because it demonstrates that you were raised correctly, and it’s an important social component to fostering good interactions between basically normal people. Key thing being basically normal.

    I too lament the coarseness and the seeming feverish race to the bottom of the social ladder to see who can be the most obnoxious, rude, gross and genitally pierced in public.

    I don’t mean to come across as a grumpy old guy (heh) but sometimes I see things going on in public that used to be the behavior of post apocalyptic scum only portrayed in cheesy Eighties action movies.

    Next thing you know people will be getting Mohawks and wrist crossbows.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      they have treatment available for impotence

  48. avatar Zach says:

    During the previews too. Damn. What a pointless argument. Give the old asshole the death penalty for all I care.

    1. avatar JR says:

      And, to extend that sentiment, keep in mind that when Deputy Sowders was killed executing a no-knock warrant at 5 am, the cops frequenting another gun related web site were calling for the killer to get the needle.

      Full disclosure: I have worked in law enforcement; I do NOT favor special privileges for cops nor do I support no knock warrants (for 90+% of what they are used for).

      If there is any intellectual honesty among contemporary LEO’s, there has to be some consistency here.

      Case 1: Guy at home shoots an intruder unknown to him at the time is a cop…gets labeled a cop killer who should die.

      Case 2: Former cop shoots an unarmed (so far as we know) man in a verbal argument he at least partially caused (where is avoidance-deterrence-deescalation in this case?)….conclusion?

        1. avatar Marcus says:

          Wow. Why wasn’t there a special prosecutor in this case? Just amazing. I haven’t seen the video. Don’t know if I want to.

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I have, and you don’t want to. It will just make you angry.

          Especially now that you know the verdict beforehand.

  49. avatar Viki says:

    It’s obvious the retired cop went to his car to get his gun. Premeditated. Anger issues. Old fart. Probably couldn’t get a woody for decades, his gun was the only hard and powerful thing he can hold in his hand ROFL

    1. avatar Keith in TX says:

      If he did go to his car to retrieve his gun he’s up a creek without a paddle.

      1. avatar Mark says:

        Yep. He’d be toast. Premeditation.

  50. avatar Viki says:

    Why couldn’t he just simply change seats ?? What kindaf macho bs is this?
    If I was his wife I would have left him there alone .

  51. avatar mike says:

    Shhhh…. silence is golden.

  52. avatar anthony says:

    Another nail in the 2A coffin. Idiot. And half the posts here are moronic. The seriousness of this situation for the fate of ccw in this country is off the charts. Mature commentary would be more helpful.

    1. avatar Chuck in IL says:


    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Perhaps a nail in the coffin of the government controlled privilege of the licensed bearing of arms. However, as to the right to keep and bear arms… shall not be infringed. The Constitution places clear, plain-language restrain upon government. When the government violates that language, it has only itself to blame. When the People do not correct their government, then the People as a whole, and not an individual, are the blame.

      When people hold a licensed privilege above a natural and enumerated right, they need to quit bitching about how the government may take away that privilege. Rights are unalienable whereas privileges are not. Understanding the differences between privileges and rights yet?

  53. avatar Dan says:

    Retired LEO was put into a situation where a “mere mortal” refused to bow, scrape and genuflect.
    Retired LEO forgot briefly that he was retired. Retired LEO then proceeded to hand down summary
    punishment for the most heinous of crimes possible…..”Contempt of Cop”….forgetting that he was no
    longer said “Cop”…..only an “honorary one”. Now the Boys in Blue club have a problem. He isn’t one of theirs any more so they can’t cover for him…..but he IS one of theirs because eventually they will ALL be just like him…. retired, so they need and want to cover this up for him. Expect vapor lock and much
    consternation and conflagration on this issue in the near future.

  54. avatar JayD says:

    But retired LEO’s are more equal than the rest of us lowly animals!

    I’ve had my run ins with dirty cops more than most growing up in the inner city. From two cops who robbed a friend of his weed only to be found 2 streets over and smoking it, an officer who would park his squad car in the alley to go to sleep for his shift every day, and 2 Sargeants stealing a crate of fireworks from myself and my brothers then taking them down the street to sell them to someone who was more than happy to take them off their hands. The last one happened just after another cop had stopped by asking us when we were going to start because she wanted to see the show.

    Not all cops are bad or evil dirtbags. My friend said “I hate cops”, I said “You mean dirty cops”. He said ” Yeah I said cops!”. In the country this seems less of a problem because the amount of temptation is very very low. People are greedy by nature, that is the truth. All I can say is my experience with cops in the country are unbelievably different. They’re helpful, caring, generally good people. They still let people off with warnings, and you don’t have to be a large breasted blond either. Put these same cops in the city and who knows.

    I have an father in law and a cousin who are country peace officers, yeah that’s what police are supposed to be. Keeping the peace is different than using your badge or someone else using it to make money for the county, city, town or yourself. What the hell do my property, state, and city taxes pay for? It sure as hell isn’t road repair.

    Until all of us “animals” realize that we’re all equal nothing will change. I don’t know why everyone is so surprised by this, it happens on a regular basis with retired or active duty LEOs alike. This won’t be big news, it will likely get lost in the shuffle. Antis don’t like to be proven wrong, it hurts their bulbous egos and their ignorant cause..

  55. avatar tommyr says:

    We need to ban MOVIE THEATERS! It’s obvious isn’t it? No movie theaters, no shootings!

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Black market cinemas will take their place. Government will respond with even more laws and increased penalties. Individual rights will suffer. Government will snoop on even more personal business of the individual, prosecute, and imprison them. Eventually, too much profit will be flowing through the system for the ban on theaters and associated laws to ever be easily repealed. All the while, people at the tops of the food chain (government & criminal) increase in wealth and government increases in power. 😉

  56. avatar Marty says:

    Maybe the phone companies should make a black screen with white letters….This way the screen isn’t so bright…I understand that maybe even doctors get texts…or your alarm company just called you because your house was just penetrated through a door without permission..or relative or loved is having an emergency…yes some of us at sometime do get texts or have to text someone…BUT NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO USE DEADLY FORCE…move your seat or call movie theatre security…I rest my case…

  57. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “The retired Tampa police captain accused of gunning down a man texting during a Mark Wahlberg war movie will be arraigned on a second-degree murder charge Tuesday in a Florida court.”

    And rightfully so…

  58. avatar jwm says:

    Brings to mind that line we here on TTAG every so often. Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he thinks he can’t win, he may just kill you.

  59. avatar Wood says:

    My wife and I have settled on Rule #1. It is “don’t be a dick”. Also, “always have a knife.” But I digress….

    As far as I’m concerned, malls & movie theaters = stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places.

  60. avatar M says:

    This Man had no right shooting an inasent Man! ;-( I think this elder Man Police should go too Jail & pay for he did wrong;-/ the Young Man was trying too see if his young Doughter was alright all Guns should be taken away from People who can’t handle it. The Man who shot this young Man with loud Music my own Nabers play there music very loud. I don’t go over there & end there life I don’t do that. I just stay in my room.

  61. avatar M says:

    I think all People should go too jail who kill people.

  62. avatar Bud Starkey says:

    It appears that many who post here are taking this lightly . Fact is this guy who like many cops think it their right to kill or injure other people . It was reported that after he murdered this father and husband he told his wife to shut her [email protected]#ken mouth after she witnesses such an abomination act of murder . His daughter has the nerve to plea with the judge to let this old murderer off because he is old and likes to work with wood . Maybe some that post here will change their minds when some out of control cop kills someone they love .

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      It’s black humor. You laugh because it’s all you can really do. Trust me when I tell you that virtually no one here thinks this was a good thing or thinks the retired cop was in the right or should get off lightly. As a matter of fact, most people here go in completely the opposite direction.

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